Summary: In everything we ought to pray
The apostle Paul writes, Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6). Paul is telling us, Seek the Lord about every area of your life. And thank him ahead of time for hearing you!
Pauls emphasis is clear: Always pray first! We arent to pray as a last resort going to our friends first, then to a pastor or counselor, and finally ending up on our knees. No Jesus tells us, Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Were to go to the Lord first before anyone!
Why is it so hard for Christians, in times of crisis, to seek God for their desperate needs? After all, the Bible stands as one long testimony that God hears the cries of his children and answers them with tender love:
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry (Psalm 34:15).
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles (verse 17).
This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).
...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).
...the prayer of the upright is his delight (Proverbs 15:8).
The Lord...heareth the prayer of the righteous (verse 29).
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer (Psalm 102:17).
Listen to Davids great boast: In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul (138:3). David said, Ive proven you, God! In all my trials, I turned to no one else. I sought only you and you heard me, answered me, and gave me strength for the battle I was facing! Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee... (81:7).
These promises and testimonies are overwhelming evidence of Gods care. And theyre so varied, profound and numerous,
Yet when it comes to prayer, the Bible gives us more than promises. It also gives us warnings about the danger of neglecting prayer: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation... (Hebrews 2:3). The Greek word for neglect here means of little concern; to take lightly.
The context of this verse is a discussion of things related to our salvation and prayer is obviously one of these. God is asking, How do you expect to escape ruin and devastation in the dark times coming, if you havent learned to commune with me in prayer? How will you know and recognize my voice in that day, if you havent learned to hear it in your secret closet?
Jeremiah writes: Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number (Jeremiah 2:32).
Here is my big question the one thing I simply cannot understand: How can Gods own people who are under constant attack from hell, facing trouble and temptations on all sides go week after week without ever seeking him? And how can they claim to love him and believe in his promises, yet never draw near to his heart?