There are so many benefits to spending time with the Lord that you really can’t afford not to! He can help you solve every problem, answer your every question, heal all your heartaches, comfort you when you’re sorrowful, give you joy, and bring you closer to Heaven. The list is endless.
Prayer changes things! It’s one means by which God gives His children what they need or want, as long as it’s good for them and others. “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”(Matthew 21:22)
You will be made stronger in spirit. Time spent in quiet reflection and listening builds inner strength that will get you through life’s toughest times. “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”(Psalm 138:3)
You will find rest and renewal when your spirit is sagging and your mind is troubled. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28–30)
You will have a more positive outlook on life, because you will be better able to see things through the eyes of faith. Once you have committed a matter to God in prayer, you can then have the assurance that He will take care of it in accordance with His will. That helps you fight against worry and view things more optimistically. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God.”(Romans 8:28) “We walk by faith, not by sight.”(2 Corinthians 5:7)
You will find comfort in times of sadness and grief, reassurance when you’re down and out, and courage to go on when you think you can’t. Jesus will help you see your troubles in proper perspective, as He sees them, and give you peace of mind. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”(Psalm 147:3) “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”(Psalm 94:19)
As you receive and apply the things the Lord shows you, you will become wiser. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”(James 1:5)
Jesus will guide you through the maze of life. He will help you know what to do when you face problems and tough decisions. He has promised to instruct you, establish your thoughts, and guide your steps. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”(Proverbs 3:6) “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”(Isaiah 30:21)
He will inspire you with good ideas. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”(Jeremiah 33:3)
Jesus will prevent some problems from happening by warning you in advance, and give you solutions to others. “Whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”(Proverbs 1:33)
You can be healed physically. “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”(James 5:15)
You can be forgiven for wrongdoing. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”(Psalm 32:5)
You will gain insight into the natural world as well as the spiritual realm. “As it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.’”(1 Corinthians 2:9–10)
Prayer draws on the power of God, so you will be able to accomplish more, and do so more easily. “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. … Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”(Isaiah 40:29,31)
You will have greater peace of mind. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6–7)
You can claim God’s supply of your material needs. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”(Matthew 7:7–8)
Jesus will open to you the treasures of His Word if you will pray, as King David did: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”(Psalm 119:18)
You can get the Lord’s help even when you don’t know what to ask for. “The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”(Romans 8:26)
A few days after our seven-year-old son, Peter, prayed for a large-print Bible, I went to price one at a Christian bookstore that carries English Bibles. The cheapest one was way out of our price range. I explained Peter’s prayer request to the shop owner, and asked if he might be able to give me a special discount on a large-print Bible, considering the circumstances and that we were volunteer missionaries. I had scarcely finished my question when the shopkeeper started into a story that at first seemed to have no connection.
Seven years earlier, a blind woman had been miraculously healed in answer to prayer. Out of gratitude to the Lord, she had given the shopkeeper $500 to hold in a sort of trust fund. Then she had instructed him that if anyone ever came to his shop and asked for a Bible, but was unable to pay for it, he was to “charge it to her account.” With that, he pointed to the shelf and told me to pick the Bible I wanted.
We never met the woman who bought Peter his Bible, but what a lesson we learned from her: A truly thankful heart looks for a way to share its blessings with others.
On wings of prayer our burdens take flight
And our load of care becomes bearably light
And our heavy hearts are lifted above
To be healed by the balm of God’s wonderful love!
And the tears in our eyes are dried by the hands
Of a loving Father who understands
All of our problems, our fears and despair,
When we take them to Him on the wings of prayer.
One day I visited a small, poor school to give an inspirational video presentation. When I arrived, they were in the middle of a power failure. I offered to pray for the problem to be found and fixed, and ten minutes later the power came on.
The children all came in for the video, but their video player was old and didn’t work properly, no matter how much we tried to adjust it. We decided to ask all the students, teachers, and staff-Muslims, Hindus and Christians alike-to pray with us that Jesus would fix the machine. Immediately after praying, everything began to work properly. They were all thrilled! Not only were they able to see the videos, but they were amazed to see the Lord answer prayer in such a specific way. Afterwards, some of the staff said, “We want to know more about God and His power to work such miracles!”
A couple who we are friends with had been trying to have a child, without success. About a year ago, the wife asked us to pray for her. Two weeks later she was pregnant, and a few weeks after that she found out she was going to have twins!
Word got around, and other childless couples started asking us to pray for them. So far, four more couples are expecting babies-including a second set of twins!
Man’s greatest power lies in the power of prayer.
An African Christian in a remote village moaned and tossed as his fever raged higher and higher. The missionary doctor who was helping to care for the boy did what he could to bring the fever down, but what he really needed was an ice pack. He quickly dismissed the thought. The nearest ice was a difficult day’s journey away.
“Cannot God send ice for my dear son?” the sick boy’s mother asked. Then she reminded the missionary of what he had said in one of his sermons-that God delights in doing miracles for His children.
“That’s true,” said the missionary. “But ice?-Here?”
Paying no attention to his doubts, the mother asked again matter-of-factly, “Shall we not pray?”
And so they did. The missionary prayed a vague and general prayer, but then the boy’s mother got right to the point: “Lord, if ice is necessary to my son’s healing, You can send it. I believe it!”
No sooner had she ended her prayer than a hailstone the size of a walnut rolled into the hut. When the two looked out, they saw hailstones plummeting from the sky.
“God has answered in His own wonderful way!” the mother exclaimed.
The hailstorm was local, and did not damage the village’s crops. The son recovered completely. News of the miracle spread to neighboring villages, and increased the faith of everyone who heard it.-And the missionary was reminded that God answers “impossible” prayers.
A Persian fable says: One day
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So redolent of sweet perfume,
Its odors scented all the room.
“What are thou?” was his quick demand,
“Art thou some gem from Samarkand,
Or spikenard in this rude disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?”
“Nay: I am but a lump of clay.”
“Then whence this wondrous perfume-say!”
“Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been dwelling with the rose.”
Dear Lord, abide with us, that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee.
A Chinese Christian was once asked to give to a fund that would be spent on sacrifices to idols, as fire insurance on his house. He declined on the grounds that he trusted in the living God, not idols, to protect him from fire.
The same night that the sacrifices were offered, fire broke out in the street where the Chinese Christian’s home was. Over 120 houses were burned down. As the flames were coming nearer and nearer to his house, his neighbors told him to save his furniture, but he refused. Instead, he prayed in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “Dear God-the one true God-prove Your existence and power by sparing my house from this fire.”
Nearer and nearer the fire came, until only one house was left between his and the flames. Suddenly there was a change of wind, and his house was saved.