What the church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations, or more novel methods; but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.
Battles are won or lost on the field of prayer, but even prayer can be a battle.
Jesus taught us how to pray (Matt. 6:9-13), told us to always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1-8), encourages us to ask, seek, and knock (Matt. 7:7-11), got up early to pray (Mark 1:35), modeled how to pray (John 17:1-26), and in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed in preparation for His arrest and death (Mark 14:32-42). Jesus modeled prayer and expected His followers to pray.
Prayer is indeed a mystery, but it is stressed over and over again in the New Testament as a vital prerequisite for the release and experience of God’s power. It is true that it is God who delivers, and that God stands in no need of human prayers before He can act on behalf of His afflicted servants. Yet there is the manward as well as the Godward aspect of such deliverance, and the manward side is summed up in the duty of Christians to intercede… In prayer, human impotence casts itself at the feet of divine omnipotence. Thus the duty of prayer is not a modiﬁcation of God’s power, but a gloriﬁcation of it.
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
As prayer without faith is but a beating of the air, so trust without prayer but a presumptuous bravado. He that promises to give, and bids us trust His promises, commands us to pray, and expects obedience to his commands. He will give, but not without our asking.
Even after conversion he carries within him a nature prone to evil, and a heart weak and unstable as water. That heart will never be free from imperfection in this world, and it is a miserable delusion to expect it. To keep that heart from going astray, the Lord Jesus bids us “watch and pray.” The spirit may be ready, but the flesh is weak. There is need of a daily struggle and a daily wrestling in prayer (Mk. 14:38; 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:23-24; Gal. 5:24; Col. 3:5).
Though infinitely better able to do without prayer than we are, yet [Christ] prayed much more than we do.
We say we are too busy to pray. But the busier our Lord was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no leisure so much as to eat (Mark 3:20); and sometimes He had no leisure for needed rest and sleep (Mark 6:31). Yet He always took time to pray. If frequent prayer, and, at times, long hours of prayer, were necessary for our Savior, are they less necessary for us?