As we continue in our series about prayer, the book of Jude tells us that prayer builds our faith. Jude 1:20 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,” (Jude 1:20 NASB 1995) Prayer is the lifeblood of the Believer. As we pray and ask for God’s help, our faith increases when we see His answer to our prayers.
Prayer is a conversation between us and God. Those who don’t understand may think that all we are doing is talking to ourselves. They don’t realize that we are talking to a living God who is interested in every area of our lives. He wants us to come to Him and seek His wisdom, direction, and help. That conversation with us is very important to Him, “These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7 NIV) He values our prayers. The book of Revelation tells us that God keeps our prayers in golden bowls. (Revelation 5:8)
Praying can be intimidating for some, especially when they hear the prayers of a well-seasoned Believer, who has years of conversation with God. Daniel, in the Old Testament, prayed out loud with his windows open even when it was illegal for him to do so. (Daniel 6:10) Jesus set a wonderful example for us regarding prayer. He prayed continually. His great prayer, recorded in John chapter 17, is a blueprint for how we should pray.
One should not pray just to appear to be more holy than everyone else. Jesus dealt with those who loved to show off how well they could pray and were looking for praise for how “pious” they were when they only were seeking praise from men. (Luke 18:10-14) God wants honest communication. We pray, and He answers. It isn’t us just talking to the air, but we listen for His answer through reading His Word and listening to the Holy Spirit, which is heeding that little nudge He gives us when we seek guidance.
As we see answers to prayers, our faith is built up. We see how He has answered and helped us through a particular problem, and when we face something that seems harder than the last battle, we remember how God helped us and answered our cry. Sometimes we are going through such difficult times that we just don’t have the words to say. That’s when the Holy Spirit helps us by interceding for us. Those are the prayers that end up with us crying out with tears and no words come. “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 ESV) For me, those are heart-wrenching prayers, when I am totally at the end of myself, and I can see no answer for my trial. When we watch God work, our faith builds.
We can pour our hearts out to Him and know He is listening and will answer. Our prayer should be sincere. “You shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 WEB) God honors the prayer that comes from a sincere heart. The more we seek Him in everything, the more we see His Hand at work in our lives, and our faith builds with each prayer victory.