This is a great question that deserves a straightforward answer. Allow me to offer some perspectives as to why the practice of prayer is important.
Personally, I don’t like to be engaged in meaningless activity. I won’t do anything simply because “that’s the thing to do” (okay…sometimes). I like my activities to be meaningful and have an impact. After almost 37 years of walking with the Lord, I can affirm with great confidence that prayer includes both of these elements. There are two main reasons why this is true.
A Powerful Statement of Faith
Out of all the ways God’s people demonstrate their faith, prayer is probably the most powerful. Look at Hebrews 11:6.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. ESV
When God’s people pray to the Lord, they are making the unabashed statement that they believe He is there and listening. Even though He cannot be discerned with the naked eye, there is the conviction in the heart that God is. Not only is a statement being made of His existence, those who pray are also demonstrating the belief that God is willing to get involved in their lives; that He cares about their dilemmas and concerns. Though the rest of the world may call them crazy and wonder why they are wasting their time, the people of God know with a settled assurance that He is there and active.
A Partnership with the Lord
Besides being a powerful statement of faith, prayer is also a primary means of partnering with what God is doing in the earth. Wait a minute! Does God need partners? Absolutely! Let me illustrate.
In 1st Kings 17 we see Elijah announcing to King Ahab that it would not rain again until he gave the word. However, in James 5:17 we see that he also prayed fervently that it would not rain. And it didn’t for three years and six months. James 5:18 tells us that he prayed again and Heaven gave rain. This is exactly what we see him doing in 1st Kings 18 when he bowed down and put his face between his knees until a cloud appeared on the horizon and the rains came. Interesting!
This really shouldn’t be a surprise. Didn’t the Lord Jesus teach His followers to pray, “Your Kingdom come, You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10)? The Lord has always sought for those who would agree with Him for His will to come to pass in the earth. The two main ways of agreeing with God are prayer and obedience. Through prayer God’s people can partner with what He is doing in other nations, in the lives of their children, even with what the Lord is doing in their own lives. This makes prayer exciting!
Beloved, prayer is anything but a meaningless religious exercise. It is a dynamic declaration of faith in God, and a primary means of working together with Him. If you have become discouraged with the practice, take heart! You are engaged in one of the most important activities on earth. I would like to encourage you to persevere. So, pray on! Prayer is a great help to living in the Reign.