It is because of the Holy Spirit’s participation that our prayers can be appropriately presented before God. Apart from the Holy Spirit’s assistance, our prayers are very limited by our own reasoning and intuition. However, with the Holy Spirit’s help our mental faculties become informed by Heaven. As we engage in communion with God and seek His help, the Holy Spirit will speak to us through the Holy Bible, to remind us of God’s mind regarding matters.
The influence of the Spirit should move our hearts to consider God’s perspective, to believe His Word, and to think in a holy manner. Then God’s desires will become our desires, God’s motives our motives, and God’s fruition our fruition. God will reveal to our hearts the things which we need to pray and meditate about. Then the confirmation of God’s peace will envelop us as we pray according to His revealed will discovered in the Holy Bible.
Prayer arouses us to offer praise and adoration to God, for He truly is worthy of all honor and admiration (Acts 4:24; Revelation 4:11). When we extol the virtues of God’s greatness, it helps us to see life through His perspective. Praise helps us to be content with what we have and not desire what we do not possess. Praise holds our minds in peace, even if the present conditions are troublesome. Praise restrains us from ungratefulness and complaining. Praise makes space in our hearts to be filled with thanksgiving; it mortifies unappreciative attitudes, dissatisfaction, and complaint. Therefore, we ought to spend time praising and adoring our awesome and wonderful God. When we do so, we can be filled with a sprit of faith, thanksgiving, and contentment instead of being doubtful, unthankful, and complaining.
Prayer helps us to possess more faith in God and it stops us from slowly sinking into the self-absorbed quicksand of self-reliance. It helps us to see ourselves in proper relationship with God. We are His servants. He is our God. We are sinful and God is holy. We are imperfect. God is perfect. We are needy and God is abundant. We have questions and God is the answer.
Prayer is so wonderful because it is a two-way communication with God. We talk to God and He talks to us. We listen to God and He listens to us. We do not merely bring our cares, worries, and frustrations to Him; God also speaks and gives guidance and instruction. God reveals Himself to us in prayer.
There have been times when I have been confused and bewildered over a particular concern. Nonetheless, through prayer God calmed my fears and uncertainties (Matthew 11:28) and He answered my requests (Philippians 4:6), further building my understanding and trust in Him. Through prayer God helps you and me to recognize that all things are possible with Him. God gives rest to those who seek Him wholeheartedly and fervently through prayer.
One individual who was a man of prayer in the Holy Bible was the apostle Paul. Quite often in his writings, he would mention how he labored in great heaviness before God in prayer for people (Romans 9:2). Ephesians 1:17-19 is one of those examples. Here, he wrote his prayer out for the brethren to read. I can imagine that, as the pastor of the church in Ephesus read aloud Paul’s letter, the words of Paul’s prayer must have been a great encouragement to them. Today it still continues to enlighten and encourage us. The passage says, “[May] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, [give] unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”
What a beautiful prayer! God wants to give you and me wisdom. God wants to reveal Himself in a greater depth of understanding. God wants our perception in life to have more godly insight concerning all matters. God wants us to have a lively hope, and partake in His wonderful calling. God wants us to share in the greatness of His power by being effectual vessels of honor for the Lord Jesus Christ. These are just some of the many significant blessings we can obtain through prayer, and some of the matters about which we can pray for people, and for ourselves, that we may obtain them by God’s grace and sovereignty.
The opportunity to be in communion with God is a sure blessing, and it only happens with prayer. Probably one of the greatest blessings prayer offers is the channel to give us full access before God’s throne. There we find the presence of God, for surely, He sits on His throne. In God’s presence, we can pray and receive divine wisdom, instruction, and direction. God desires to genuinely give wisdom to His children, but we must seek and ask for it. James 1:5-6, says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Therefore, spend time with God in prayer and the Holy Bile and you will find knowledge and wisdom and get good understanding.
Problems, setbacks, and troubles are bountiful in supply. These can discourage or dishearten a servant if he is shortsighted; but a servant who is filled with wisdom and understanding trusts in the LORD and leans not on his own reasoning. Likewise, prayerfulness gives a Christian a deeper understanding of the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints. Prayer is the channel God uses to give Christians discernment with spiritual enlightenment. God gives discernment to a Christian so that he may arise from his prayer chamber and be of genuine service to mankind. If we are going to be ministers (servants) to men, we must be equipped with His understanding so that we can recognize how to best serve individuals according to their needs. Discernment helps a Christian to better understand the principal causes of people’s afflictions.
Discernment, wisdom, and insight are gifts from the Lord. God supplies gifts so that we may appropriately use them to lift up the brethren in times of need. God never gives a gift, such as discernment, to be used as a tool to hurt someone or to exalt ourselves. God gives gifts to believers so that we may humble ourselves and be good and wise servants unto others.
Not only does spiritual enlightenment help us to serve people effectively, it also provides us with clearer insight into problems and dilemmas. As God supplies a Christian with more discernment, wisdom, or understanding, the believer will soon become aware that his sorrows begin to grow as well. Ecclesiastics 1:18 explains, saying, “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Thankfully, God will not load us with a burden we cannot bear. The Lord balances sorrow by supplying a believer with joy in the Lord as well. Although sorrow might persist because you see man’s problems and understand their underlying causes, meanwhile you can experience the joy of the Lord by resting in assurance that God’s sovereignty in His timing shall work it all out for the good.
Spiritual enlightenment certainly is a blessing because it also is given to help believers to better appreciate God’s grace of longsuffering. Spiritual enlightenment helps you see God’s gracious hand working among people in the depths of their problems. As we empathize with others, we are drawn closer to the Savior because our own need for God’s grace is made ever more real to us. God patiently works to help us see and understand more of His greatness and holiness.
This is why we need prayer. Prayerfulness serves to expand our understanding of God’s holiness. When you see His holiness you will be arrested with conviction by God’s Spirit of your own sins and weaknesses. Then your mind will be moved to consider your own frailties, rather than the shortcomings of others. As you better see the glory of God, you will certainly be in awe that God would even call you and permit you to partake in His Kingdom service.