“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24).
Some time ago, I was asked by pastors to rate from the most to the least important, what they felt were their responsibilities and duties to be performed. Number one on the list of all pastors was prayer. They were then asked to revise their ranking by the amount of time spent on the items on their list. To great surprise, the amount of time devoted to prayer was at the bottom of the list.
It is obvious to all, that those in the position of spiritual leadership had dropped the ball somewhere in this maze. With these points being made in regard to the spiritual leaders, there is little doubt that if it were laypeople being questioned, the numbers would be even much greater.
When we consider what Jesus thought and how He felt about prayer, this is truly a tragedy. Jesus, being God in the flesh, certainly had no need to ask anything of God through prayer. In spite of this being the case, He did spend a lot of time praying and speaking to His followers about the value and importance of prayer.
Jesus never said, "if you pray", He always said "when you pray". The understanding here by the Lord was that Christians should and would devote much of their time to prayer. The truth is that like eating, breathing and sleeping, it is an expected part of life. Let me pose a question to you. If you breathed, slept and ate with the same amount of time and effort you put into prayer, would you have passed away from suffocation, sleep deprivation or starvation?
If in fact that had been the standard, unfortunately I feel that the majority of Christians would now be dead. When we consider what prayer really is, this is even more tragic. Jesus once told us that "when you pray, believe you will get them, and you will". The message here is that prayer is asking, a petition.
While I am all for praising God with your lips, and in your mind, that is not prayer. If you go on to Him about His might and power, and that you are amazed how a pure and holy God would even let us speak to Him, this is all wonderful, but it is not prayer.
God is totally pleased when we come to Him with our needs and wants, he is happy to hear from us. None of what we say goes past Him. Thinking back to when I was a kid, I would go to my earthly father with both my wants and my needs. Of course, he was aware of the basic needs I had such as clothing, shelter and food, but he also took joy when I went to him with my list of wants. Our Father in Heaven is not different at all. Prayer is the method for us to go to the Universe's Creator to ask for those things important to us. It is literally a shame that more Christians don't realize this and take advantage of it.
Prayer is vital part of Christian life. It’s our way of communicating with our Heavenly Father concerning our needs. It’s shocking that many Christians don’t really understand the importance of prayer. We are commanded by Jesus in the daily prayer to him we should always believe that he hears us because he is a loving and caring father by willing to provide for our needs.
See Living for Jesus