Prayer is the duty and delight of God’s people.
It is duty–it’s what God commands. It’s hard work. It’s difficult. The apostle Paul recognized that prayer can be a struggle when he asked the church in Rome “to strive together with me in your prayers to God” (Romans 15:30 ESV). Paul said of one fellow coworker in ministry that “he is always wrestling in prayer for you” (Colossians 4:12). Striving and wrestling—that’s how Paul describes prayer.
But prayer is also a delight. Paul recognized the joy and delight of prayer when he said to the Philippians, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” (Philippians 1:4). It is a wonderful treasure and privilege to talk with the God of the universe about what’s on your heart. Prayer brings joy, produces peace, and increases our intimacy with God.
Below are some biblical truths about prayer – to help you see what the Lord says about the duty and delight of prayer. It’s our job and also our joy as believers to pray. It’s both rigorous and restful. We need to experience both the gravity and gladness of God in prayer. This, of course, takes work but also brings much joy.
“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”
(Romans 12:12 HCSB)
- God listens to prayer.
“I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy” (Psalm 116:1 NLT).
- God answers prayer.
“In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5 NLT).
- God wants you to pray all the time.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ESV).
- God wants you to align your will with His will in prayer.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14)
- God wants to talk to Him about your worries and receive His peace in prayer.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7 NLT).
- God wants you to honestly tell Him what’s on your heart and trust Him in prayer.
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).
- God wants you to pray with persistence and with gratitude.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).
- God wants you to pray for others—for leaders, the lost, and all people.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people––for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1–4).
- God wants you to pray with others.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42)
- God wants you to pray for fellow believers.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).
- God helps others by your prayers.
“You are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety” (2 Corinthians 1:11 NLT).
- God is glorified through prayer.
“Call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory” (Psalm 50:15 NLT).