How Prayer Cultivates Intimacy with God
by Melanie Davis Porter on November 19th, 2020

It’s a sweet welcome when my young adult sons send texts asking for prayer. It feels good to know they place an importance on prayer since they’re no longer on the family payroll or living under the same roof as old mom and dad.

Growing up, our three boys came to our bedroom every night before bed to have a family altar and pray. We did this regularly until they all left home. I still miss all those hairy legs, and smelly feet strung out across our bed in random positions.

Looking back, I can recall many times we celebrated God’s Goodness. When He answered our
prayers, many spiritual markers grew our family's faith.

I remember the year that Matt needed a computer. He was only 12, but he was starting middle school, and each year, research for study and projects were becoming more demanding while requiring extra trips to the library.

In preparation for school, we were shopping when Matt found a big sign in the aisleway of our favorite department store advertising a back to school giveaway. The prize was a brand new, state-of-the-art computer with a printer. It was a significant prize package.

We prayed every morning and evening for that computer. I remember asking God to use that
contest to open Matt’s eyes to His faithfulness. We gave up hope when the date of notification passed. But then one day, a letter addressed to Matt showed up in the mailbox, notifying him that he won the computer.

That was a significant spiritual moment between Matt and God. He realized God heard his prayers.

Many times, we focus on God’s no’s or slow answers. Often, we turn to Him in desperation as
a last hail Mary effort. Unfortunately, there have been times when my self-sufficiency robbed me of trusting God and letting Him work out my problems in prayer.

But failing to connect the dots to how prayer can grow and enhance our faith will limit our intimacy with the Father.

Establishing a fervent prayer life is hard,
but it’s so worth it to know the character of God and His ways.


So how does prayer cultivate our faith and intimacy with God?

Prayer changes our hearts and invites us into a sacred place of trust and divine expectation.
In Colossians, Paul told us to: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

We learn what God’s will is by reading His Word. When we pray for His will to be done, our hearts are aligned with what He wants. (Luke 22:42, 1 John 5:14-15) Knowing that God is for us and wants what is best in our lives, we can trust Him to bring about the very best outcome to all our prayers. (Romans 8:31)

Prayer increases our faith and builds our testimony.
God has promised to supply all our needs; therefore, we can trust Him for provision daily. (Philippians 4:19) When our prayers are answered, we see tangible proof that our unseen God hears our prayers. Not only does this bolster our faith but it builds our testimony to encourage others to pray and trust God. (Psalm 22:22, 66:16) Even when God chooses to answer a request and not necessarily a need just because He loves us, we learn that it pleases Him to bless us just because He can. (Matthew 7:11)

Prayer provides divine guidance when we can’t or don’t know what to pray.
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) Sometimes we are so grieved or broken that we can’t find the words to say to God. But the Holy Spirit is our helper, and He will divinely give us the words to say. Why? Because He knows the profound utterances of our spirits, and He longs to help us articulate our hurts and needs to the Father.

Prayer keeps us from sin.
”Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41) At the first inkling of temptation to sin, we must fall to our knees for help. When we take our temptations to the Father in prayer, 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that: “He will provide a way of escape that we will be able to endure.” God will faithfully keep us from being tempted beyond our ability to say no. It’s His will that we not sin; therefore, He will answer our pleas to help us escape when we ask for help.

Prayer brings about repentance and peace.
There’s no sweeter moment than when we confess our sin to God. For those precious few seconds, we can rest in the freedom of forgiveness and perfect peace. The Bible tells us: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Not only does He forgive us, but He forgets our sin also. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)

There are no greater benefits to cultivating a relationship with God through prayer. But most importantly, you’ll grow to know, trust, and wait for His reply ever when circumstances are hard. Also, you’ll always find peace even when there are no earthly answers. In fact, you'll find healing, guidance, wisdom, the Holy Spirit's presence, and more.
Author Max Lucado sums up prayer perfectly:
"Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference."
Max Lucado

Father, thank You that we can talk directly to You in prayer. Thank You that we need no
mediator, that You provided complete access to the throne through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Help us to learn to sit in Your presence and listen. Give us insight into Your Word to find Your Will. Make us wiser to see Your hand at work in our lives and prayers. Thank You for hearing us when we call. Make us faithful to see You everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Blessings Soul Friends,

Melanie

MELANIE DAVIS PORTER is a simple girl who loves Jesus, the Arts, and good books. She is an experienced playwright for the church and writes for Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 App.
Melanie has been married to a proud Vietnam Combat Vet for over 35 years and loves to play with her grandchildren.
To connect with Melanie, visit www.melaniedavisporter.com or email her directly at melanieporter45@gmail.com.
You can also find her on Twitter at @MelMel27, on Facebook at
facebook.com/MelanieDavisPorter/
Read Melanie’s, and others, teachings through the First 5 App at First5.org

Today's blog post is from our Soul Inspired Prayer Journal "Praying For Revival".
To access all of our Revival resources, click the image below.



Posted in Praying For Revival    Tagged with revival, prayer


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