To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be a human without breathing.” Martin Luther
The other day I was sitting in my car outside a coffee shop when I noticed a gentleman walking towards the entrance while counting the change in his hand. As he walked a coin fell to the ground. He looked down at it for just a second and continued. I stared at the coin and reflected on the words my mother said when she bent over to pick up a penny, “every penny has value to someone”. I could see that the fallen coin was a quarter and wondered when twenty-five cents lost its value such that someone could not make the effort to bend over and pick it up.
Do you catch yourself thinking; “I’ve got life covered. I have a good job, good relationships, and a good church where I can sit, listen and then leave to get back to taking care of my life”. Have you ever sensed the need to pray for yourself or someone but found yourself dropping that thought and moving on? Have you stopped talking with God, not just about your needs or concerns, but stopped talking altogether? Maybe prayer has lost its value to you. Maybe you don’t understand what prayer is about, or you prayed for something and you didn’t get what you asked for, or maybe your life is so full that you are too busy taking care of yourself that you feel you have no time to talk with God. Charles Swindoll once said, “Noise and crowds have a way of siphoning our energy and distracting our attention, making prayer an added chore rather than a comforting relief”.
We have life when we cover it with prayer. Jesus said, “I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b (NASB). He was not offering life with plenty to eat, good health, a good job, friends or a church where you can be content as a consumer. Jesus stated (John 15:5 paraphrased) that apart from Him we can do nothing of value. Without prayer, we avoid relying on God’s love and grace and become self-focused and believe we can be self-sufficient. When trouble comes, and it comes to all, most will worry, become desperate, panic, or get angry thereby making them incapable of dealing with the issue. Without prayer, we struggle with life. Without prayer, we don’t have life covered, especially the eternal life that matters. Jesus offers a truth that allows us to see the world as He does. A world overwhelmed with the need to look after self, at any cost. A world desperately in need of love and grace. To those who believe in Him, He offers a full life in His grace so we can focus on loving God and neighbour while we work, play and even struggle. We connect with that full life when we connect with God through prayer.
The individual who dropped the coin came out of the store with coffee in hand, walked by the dropped money and went on his way. After a while I got out of my car and picked up the coin; not because I needed it but because I thought it still had value to someone. I was unable to return his coin but I prayed for him because I know God values prayer. If you have not prayed for a while know that you can start fresh. Acknowledge you need God and talk to Him. He did not abandon you during your absence but has been waiting for you to talk with Him.
The value of prayers is that they keep us in touch with God. Be comforted with these words, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”. Jeremiah 29:12 (NASB).