We must learn how to minister the wonderful gift of prayer!
We must recognize the true purposes of prayer!
Years ago the inspiring pen of Rosalind Rinker produced a masterpiece on the subject of prayer—Prayer: Conversing with God. It was recently honored by Christianity Today as one of the 100 most influential Christian books published in the past century. Author Rinker reminds us that it is all too common for Christians to pray for the conversion of a loved one for years and not receive an answer. The author concludes it is “not because God isn’t willing to save the loved one, it’s because we are not praying sensibly and with faith. It is like trying to take one giant leap from the bottom of the stairs to the top of the stairs. We want to get to the top of the stairs. We talk and talk about going and yet there we stand. The reason being, it is impossible to get there from the bottom to the top of a flight of stairs in one step. Stairs were made to be used, but they were made to be used one step at a time!”
Indeed, there is much to be learned concerning the prayer life and we must climb these steps one at a time. Only in this manner can we effectively learn to minister the gift of prayer.
All true prayer should have major goals or purposes. For example, prayer should glorify God. It should also bring the one who prays closer to God in fellowship. Concerning the first goal, Donald Demaray says, “The purpose of prayer is not intended to give one a life of ease, but to glorify God.” Demaray goes on to cite the Psalmist’s words, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth” (Psalm 115:1, NKJV).
The second goal simply centers in fellowship with God. Though there may be many purposes for prayer, bringing glory to God and fellowshipping with Him are the most essential.