Despite the fact that the Bible is full of prayerful people, most churches today don’t pray very much at all. In fact, we barely talk about prayer, even though it’s one of the most foundational pieces of the Christian faith.
I recently went on a 37,000-mile prayer pilgrimage around the world, a modern re-working of the ancient tradition. I set aside the things of earth to focus on things above, and quite the trip ensued. I met the Pope, danced with rabbis, talked with monks, and revived my prayer life.
I experienced a world of prayer traditions across the Judeo-Christian faith family, and I learned a lot of reasons why we all should pray more.
1. He’s Listening
God promises to hear your prayers. While you won’t always get the answer that you’re hoping for, you can rest in the knowledge that God is working together all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.
2. The Holy Spirit Is Working
Chronicles tells us that “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” He wants to help people, and it’s that intimate prayer connection that puts us in touch with the God of the universe.
The Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing, to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. The act of prayer is an act of obedience.
If you have breakfast every day with Bill Gates, you’re going to get better at managing your money. If you have lunch every day with Steven Spielberg, you’re probably going to watch more movies. If you spend daily time with Jesus in prayer, you’re going to become more Christlike. This alone will have a huge impact on the world. As God works in you, through you, and around you, you’ll become all that He created you to be.
5. We Need It
This world is so full of violence, war, poverty, slavery, brokenness, and sin. By inviting God to play an active role in our lives, we become conduits of love and peace to a world in desperate need.
There are thousands of reasons why we should all pray more – every need, every blessings, every grace and gift and hurt and hope is an opportunity to connect with Christ in prayer.
As you go about your day, find ways to practice His presence in all that you do. Your prayers could literally change the world.
Jared is the author of A Year of Living Prayerfully, a humorous travel memoir about prayer. He is the cofounder of Hope for the Sold, an abolitionist charity that fights human trafficking one word at a time, and he has written for Huffington Post, Esquire, Converge, and Relevant. Jared is happily married to his best friend, Michelle, whom he first kissed in the seventh grade.