What is the importance of daily prayer in the life of a Christian?
A Christian's relationship with God is, in some ways, just like other relationships. We spend time with those we value. The more time we spend together, the closer we become.
The more importance you place on your relationship with God, the more time you will want to spend with Him, learning about Him, sharing your praises of Him, telling Him what is on your mind, asking Him for wisdom and help, interceding for others, and learning from Him.
Praying is a cornerstone of the Christian life because God tells us in the Bible that He wants to be known. Praying is acknowledging His presence in your life and growing your relationship with Him.
Praying is found throughout the Bible—from Adam and Eve conversing with God in the garden of Eden, through John receiving revelation from Jesus. God expects us to call out to Him. Christians should be conversing with God throughout the day and night as we go about life (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18; Ephesians 6:18) and at times that are specifically set aside to pray to Him (Matthew 6:5–6). It may look different for each Christian and each day, but we are called to daily prayer.
When you pray, you may start by acknowledging who God is—the Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1), the one who holds all things together even now (Colossians 1:17). He is the one who initiated a relationship with you and rescued you. Colossians 1:13–14 says, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." It is because of Jesus that we have access to God through prayer (Hebrews 4:14–16; 10:19–23).
When you pray, you can tell God what is concerning you, allow Him to speak to you about it and to take any burden from you. First Peter 5:6–7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." Philippians 4:6–7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus." We can daily give God our concerns and trust Him to care for us.
When you pray, you should confess any sin or shortcoming that may hinder your fellowship with God. First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." James 5:16 talks about confessing our sins to one another and praying for each other.
When you pray, you can tell God how grateful you are for what He has done in your life. There are several psalms that show God's enduring love and action. For example, Psalm 118 repeats this refrain: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!"
When we pray, we acknowledge who God is, we fellowship with Him to build intimacy, we cede control of our lives to God and gain peace. These are things we should do daily.
Philippians 4:4–7 offers us a template for prayer: rejoice, do not worry, give thanks, ask, and receive: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus."
Prayer is one way of drawing near to God. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:7–8). Praying is also part of the spiritual armor God gives us (Ephesians 6:10–18). Prayer is a privilege and a tool God has given us that we may be in communion with Him.
With all these benefits of praying, maybe the better question is why not pray every day?
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