While common to all major religions, prayer is viewed differently by different belief systems. Prayer is typically viewed as requesting something from God, and therefore prayer becomes an instrument of communication only when some desired object or situation arises.
Biblical prayer should be something that sets believers in Messiah apart from others; this is a dynamic of the holiness of believers. There are many different biblical aspects to prayer, and one of the main facets that is encouraged is an idea of constancy; we are to pray continually.
Luke 18:1 – “Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.”
Yeshua provides the example of the “persistent widow” who continued day after day to bring her request before the judge. When we pray for some need we may have or situation that arises, do we have the perseverance to continue in prayer, or do we simply give up after mentioning it once or twice in an off-hand way? I believe Yeshua desires our prayers to be genuine, and genuine prayers that remain at the forefront of all of our thinking and actions. These are the requests that demonstrate real needs exist. Flippant or careless prayers for this or that only show that whatever that issue is must not be a real need, otherwise urgent prayer for that thing would continue. So the persistence is not a demonstration to God of how important something is (since he already knows), but it is a demonstration to ourselves of what we consider important enough to bring before him day after day.
Ephesians 6:18 – “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”
Colossians 1:3 – “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…”
Whew, that is a lot of praying! Again, the emphasis is on the constancy for every and all situation that can relate to the kingdom of God in our daily lives, and the lives of our brothers and sisters in Messiah. Praying in the Spirit of God implies that those things that are prayed about relate to the kingdom of God, since that is God’s overarching purpose in the world: seeing the kingdom manifested in all things. When our prayers align with God’s purpose all the time, we will find that God’s Spirit will enable us to better accomplish his will, and it will happen all around us in real time!
Constancy in prayer is one of my personal challenges, and I hope that by highlighting these few examples, you are challenged to review your own prayer practices, as well. If we can unite in prayer for one another as brothers and sisters in Messiah, then we can both experience his kingdom coming to pass in our respective circles of influence!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “…pray constantly…”
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