Praying is absolutely necessary for a Christian---I would say it is vital and indispensable. Some have compared prayer to breathing and I would agree. A person cannot survive more than a few minutes without breathing and a believer can’t prosper in his walk with the Lord without prayer.
What is the best part of praying?
A more spiritual Christian than me would say it is praying itself. There is nothing better than spending time alone with our God, praising Him, interceding for others and pouring out our hearts in his presence. This is what prayer is all about.
Others, a little bit less spiritual than me perhaps, would argue that the best part of praying is receiving the answers we have prayed for. There is great joy when we hear testimonies of healings, miracles, providential interventions by God and many other blessings as a result of our prayers.
For me, the best part of praying is being part of the answer to my own prayers. It is good to pray and spend time alone with God; no doubt about that. I confess that my prayer life is not always what it should be, and that I want to learn to pray better and longer; but I do pray and I rejoice when I spend time with my Lord and when He answers me.
I rejoice even more when He uses me as part of the answer to the prayers. It is good, for example to pray for my sons, but it is better to pray for them with my lips and to help them with my own hands. I have prayed that God will help them spiritually and I talk to them about Christ; I have prayed that God prospers their financial situation and we have also been used by God to give them a hand when they need it; I have prayed for God to help them in many other situations and we have been blessed to take part in some of them.
For whom or what do you pray for? If you pray for the salvation of others, you might need to be like Isaiah who answered his own prayer. He said: “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Perhaps you can’t be a missionary, but you can pray for them and send money to them and write letters (or emails, texts, etc.) to them, and tell those around you about Jesus.
Be the answers to your own prayers whenever possible. This is what it means to be a follower of Christ. Become also a follower of your prayers, or be like James says, “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
In my last entry I started talking about the gift exchange known as “secret Santa” and I was planning to correlate it to our secret sins, but I was quickly sidetracked on a Santa rant. I do not hate the original Nicholas (if he was a real man), but I totally despise the idea of a magical and powerful being named Santa Claus.
While the practice of “secret Santa” might be harmless up to a point, the presence of secret sins in our lives poses a real danger. Every human being on this earth has at least one sin that is kept hidden from the rest of the world.
There are sins in our lives that are public or semi-public. Everyone knows that we are not perfect and therefore we might have no problem confessing that sometimes we fall prey to anger, depression, doubts, fears, a little gossip and the occasional “white” lie.
Oh, but there are dark and perverse sins that we would never confess to anyone. These are the sins that we keep under lock and key. You know what I’m talking about. You have at least one (if not more) of those “pet” sins. If others could see those secret sins, they would be horrified, appalled and disgusted.
These are the sins that bring us comfort (for a short time) and shame (for a long time). These are the deep seated hatred; the enslaving lust; the thirst for the forbidden; the perverse thoughts and the fleshly passions.
One of the reasons that we can be sure that the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible and eternal Word, is that it publishes and condemns every sin. Most biographies exalt their subjects, but the Bible proclaims the sins of the kings, prophets, apostles and every believer.
I don’t know what your secret sin is and I don’t want to find out. I pray that God helps you overcome it and I hope that you will pray that others (myself included) will have victory over their sins.
In Christ, we have been forgiven of every sin (Colossians 1:14). Therefore, we are free to serve God, not to sin. In fact, we don’t have the need or the inclination to sin, as we have a new nature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It is a fact: You and I have secret sins, but there is a twofold solution to this problem. The Bible declares that:
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Confess and forsake. If confessing our secret sin is difficult, forsaking it might be almost impossible for us, but nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37). Lord, help us to confess and forsake sin and to serve you with a pure heart.