The importance of Prayer


For a believer, prayer is a fundamental and foundational activity that should keep on going. There are lakhs and lakhs of sermons and motivational messages that are available for us today to highlight the importance of prayer in a believer’s life. Today, we will understand the importance of the prayer once more through some events that happened in the past, in the Bible. Please turn with me to the book of Joshua. You might have guessed it already. But let’s keep going.

The miraculous experience of believers

The promise God gave to Joshua is –

as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage – Joshua 1: 5,6

He repeats the assurance once more –

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1: 9

As God promised, Joshua triumphantly conquered Jericho. We can see the continuous conversation between God and Joshua about-

  • The process of crossing the river Jordan
  • The gathering of the 12 stones of testimony
  • The circumcision of new generation of Israelites
  • The process of capturing Jericho

It was a detailed and careful counsel provided by God and received by Joshua and executed by the Israelites. The confidence levels of Israelites increased like anything. They were very happy for the wonderful leading of the God to cross Jordan and to capture Jericho.

Did not understand the importance of prayer

Now it’s time to capture a less powerful enemy. Joshua sends spies to check the details of that enemy. The response of these spies very confident. They said, “Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai, because they very few – Joshua :7:3. Let’s check the response from the spies in the case of Jericho, “Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land: for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us. – Joshua – 2:24”. If we see the situation of Israelites, –

  • God told Joshua how he is going to be with him
  • The spies heard the words from Rahab and understood that God gives this land into their hands
  • When the Jordan splitted to show forth dry land, they believed the leading of God.
  • When they followed the instructions, they experienced the miraculous victory over Jericho.

So it’s all going great and mighty. With this experience, they came to Ai and when they looked at it, they presumed the victory over Ai. Now, even Joshua, did not ask God whether he should send only 2 or 3 thousands? What is the process of war? etc. But he went with the counsel of these men. We know what happened, they were defeated. What is the reason of the defeat? it’s not because of their planning. But the sinful activity that happened by Achan. Now, if Joshua waited upon God, he would have known that, there was a sinful activity happened. But he did not expect, after clearly instructing not to touch anything in Jericho, people would dare to do. So, they had to lose.

Still did not get it

One more incident, let us see. The people of Gibeon, they came unto Joshua and Israelites, and told their version of the story as if it is true. First, Israelites got a doubt to believe, but they fell to the convincing words of the people of Gibeon. Its was written –

the men… asked not the counsel at the mouth of God – Joshua 9:14.

Just previously in the case of Ai, they experienced a blow, by not checking with God. Again, now they are doing the same. Even though they having doubt, they are not checking the counsel of God. So, they were deceived.

The importance of Prayer

So, the above situations in the life of Israelites, teaches us the importance of the prayer in our life. Remember that Lord Jesus also taught us the importance of asking, seeking and knocking.

  1. Prayer means
    1. Asking God the favour and guidance for the things we are going to do
    2. Making sure that the will of God is inline with our plans.
  2. Prayer helps to
    1. find any obstacle that is going to become a stumbling block
    2. uncover the wicked plans of enemy
    3. receive the wisdom and guidance to accomplish the things.
  3. Prayer prevents
    1. Falling prey to the wickedness of the enemy.
    2. Defeat in the spiritual war.

Prayer gives the spiritual sight to see the things clearly. As God told through Joshua, in chapter 3 and verse 4, the ark of the covenant should go before the Israelites. Because, the path in front of us, is not known. When the ark goes first, it clears the path. Otherwise, we will be blind to the traps and will fail. Our prayer keeps the ark in the front. May God help us to use this powerful tool in the spiritual arsenal to fight manfully and be victorious for the glorification of the name of our LORD. Amen!