Jesus never prayed because He had to; He prayed because He wanted to. He wanted to be obedient to the Father and to do the Father’s will. Jesus discovered the Father’s will the same way we do—by communing with Him.
It’s important for us to discover the Father’s will for our life. And once we discover it, it’s important to obey it! How many times do we disobey our Heavenly Father? And what happens when we do? We get into trouble. Then we start praying, “God, help me! I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done this.”
And, thank goodness, God is so forgiving. His grace is wonderful, but how much better it would be if we didn’t get into those situations. God knows what is best for us! And if we obey Him, He will make our way prosperous. We could avoid so many problems in life if we would just obey.
Prayer connects us with our Heavenly Father and causes His will to be revealed. We are also empowered by God through prayer. It’s been said that seven days without prayer makes one weak. That statement is a clever play on words, but it contains a powerful truth, because prayer is the way we draw nutrients from the Vine (John 15:1–5). When we don’t pray, we become weak!
Jesus spent much time in prayer, drawing the strength He needed to accomplish God’s will for His life. Through prayer, we draw strength to accomplish God’s will for our life.
To stay healthy in the natural, we need required nutrients for our body daily. Through prayer, we receive valuable spiritual “nutrients.”
If the fruit of the Spirit isn’t growing in our life, and we are already reading the Word, we should check up on our daily prayer life. For example, if you are having trouble with your love walk, check up on your spiritual nutrients! Check up on your prayer life, because if you’re having trouble with your love walk, you’re probably not praying as much as you should.
Are you having trouble with a lack of joy? Are you having trouble with a lack of peace? Are you having trouble being long-suffering toward others? Have you been getting irritated with your spouse or your children? Have you been getting irritated with your fellow workers? Check up on your nutrients—check up on your prayer life. Strengthening your relationship with God will supply strength to your other relationships.
Each of us is a minister in our own world. But we cannot minister to others if we have not first ministered to our Heavenly Father. Ministry to God must come before ministry to people. How do we minister to God? By spending quality time in His Presence—by praising, worshipping, and communing with Him.
As we commune with our Heavenly Father, we build ourselves up! Then we have love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and all the fruits of the Spirit manifesting in our lives. When we build ourselves up through prayer, we have a daily supply of spiritual vitamins and minerals, so to speak. And having good spiritual health will affect our body’s physical health.
Do you know what stress can do to your body? It can cause all kinds of physical ailments and maladies. Stress can cause stomach problems, high blood pressure, hair loss—all kinds of things! When you have stress, you don’t have peace; there is sorrow instead of joy, anxiety instead of rest.
Stress can cause your body to go haywire. It can weigh you down on the inside. Proverbs 12:25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down . . .” (NIV). Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” It pays to be at peace. It pays to have a merry heart. We can cast our stress onto the Lord in prayer and be happier and healthier for it!
1 PETER 5:7 (Amplified)
7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6–7 (Amplified)
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, BY PRAYER AND PETITION (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have God’s peace than the world’s stress! Prayer allows us to cast our cares on the Lord and to receive His peace in return.
I rely on God for everything. People may say that makes me simple-minded, but because I rely on God, I don’t have cares in life! I just go to God in prayer. I know that whatever I need, I’m going to receive from Him in prayer. Through prayer, I rest in God’s peace. I rest in His joy. I rest in His strength.
As we commune with the Lord in prayer and as we praise and worship Him, we receive the spiritual nutrients we need to sustain us in life. And the more time we spend in prayer, the more we can begin to receive an overflow! We can minister to others out of that overflow.
First we must minister to God. As we minister to Him, He fills us up more and more until, suddenly, we are overflowing and are ministering to those around us.
Our soul must cry out for the Lord. As we cry out for Him and seek His face, He blesses us in every way—spiritually and naturally. He wishes above all things that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers (3 John 2).
The most important thing we can do is to follow God’s plan for our lives, for in His plan, there is peace. In His plan, there is joy! In His plan, there is strength! And we find His plan through prayer.
Many times people ask me, “How are you able to do all that you have to do?” Because I am in the plan of God! And God never calls anyone to do anything that He doesn’t also give him or her the ability and strength with which to do it. Hallelujah!
My energy doesn’t lie in chocolate—although I do like chocolate! My energy lies in the Lord Jesus Christ. My strength lies in His strength. My joy is in Him. When I spend time in His Presence, I’m ready to run through a troop and leap over a wall!
The next time you discover an absence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life, check up on your prayer life. When you start to feel over stressed, spend extra time in prayer. And if you start to get a little weak, set aside some time to bask in the Presence of the Lord. Your strength will return! Joy and peace will return. Patience, long-suffering, and love for others will return. Weariness and stress will be gone, and the fruit of the Spirit will begin to manifest in your life! Why? Because you’ve been on your knees in prayer.
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