I felt it–a dull, aching, ever-present pain. I touched it–a growth on my body. It scared me. I was only fifteen. Weeks passed. No change. Desperate, I went into my parents’ bedroom. Alone and frightened, I prayed. “Jesus, please heal me. Please, Jesus, heal me. Please!”
Then it happened. Instantly. Suddenly. It felt like Someone had touched the spot where the growth was. Startled, I reached for the area. It was gone. It had vanished. The growth had disappeared instantly. It never returned. My prayer was answered.
So how potent is prayer? Very! It activates the miracle-working, dead-raising, need-supplying, demon-destroying power of God to accomplish the will of God on earth. How important is prayer? Extremely! It actualizes and personalizes the blessings of redemption. “You have not because you ask not.” So says the Apostle James.
Prayer is essential. Praying occupied the Lord Jesus during His earthly life. He lived to pray. In fact, He still does.
But He, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is able also to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, seeing he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:24, 25 NKJV)
Observe what occupies Jesus right now in heaven. “He always lives to make intercession.” This means, at this moment in Heaven, He is literally giving His life over to this great ministry of intercession for us. He is praying for us. Jesus is our heavenly Intercessor.
Now, if He is giving His life to interceding for us in heaven, then this ministry of prayer must be very precious to Him. It must also be very important to the Father, since Jesus does only what is pleasing to the Father. And it must be absolutely essential to the New Covenant!
Indeed, it is. It was essential for Jesus to die on the cross for guilty sinners to provide redemption. But in order to make His sacrifice effectual, in order for us to reap the benefits of His death, He had to appear in Heaven before the throne of the Father and intercede for us on the basis of His death. Had Jesus not followed up His sacrificial death with His intercessory life, no one would have reaped any benefits from His death. Oh, how very important prayer is!
Child of God, prayer makes personal and experiential what redemption made legal and real. It actualizes what the Cross potentialized. Without it, the blessings of redemption will elude us. We reap the benefits of Jesus’ death and take possession of our inheritance by prayer based on the finished work of the Cross!
Listen to Jesus’ words on this. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Child of God, discover prayer. Take possession. Learn to pray.