Regular prayer provides many benefits

Published 12:06 am Thursday, April 17, 2014

What is prayer? Prayer is “a petition to God.” Prayer is asking God to give us what we believe would be good for us or others.

Some people say that God knows everything, and if he already knows what we need, then why bother to ask him to give us what we feel we need?

There are three reasons why I believe we should pray and that prayer is important.

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The first is the Bible tells us to pray. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful,” Colossians 4:2-3. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6-7.

The next reason is it was important to Jesus. There are several references in the gospels that tell us Jesus went alone to pray.

The night before he began calling his disciples, he prayed all night. Once when he had been alone to pray, he rejoined the disciples by walking to their boat across the water.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples to pray with him. But they were weak and fell asleep. Surely they later regretted that the last hours that they had to spend with Jesus, when they could have been close to him and supported him, they were unable to do so. They must have been remorseful and sad about this.

The last reason I believe prayer is important is because we all need forgiveness. The Psalmist David wrote many prayers and had a dynamic prayer life and relationship with God.

Nathan the prophet said God had chosen David to be the next king of Israel because he was “a man after his own heart” 1 Samuel 13:14.

Let’s look at what he says in Psalm 32 to see if we can find out why David prayed.

Psalm 32

41 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

42 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

43 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

44 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

45 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Yes, prayer is important because we have been instructed by God to pray, it was important to Jesus and because it is through prayer that we approach God and ask forgiveness for our sins.

On May 1, the Natchez Ministerial Alliance would like to invite Natchez and surrounding communities to join us for the National Day of Prayer.

A Prayer Walk leading participants through The Lord’s Prayer will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Prayer stations will be set up in the Natchez City Council Chambers, 115 S. Pearl St.

Participants can come and go throughout the day and pray at their convenience. They are also invited to join in a prayer vigil during the noon to 1 p.m. hour. Persons of all denominations are invited.

To learn more about the Natchez area National Day of Prayer event, visit and search 39120 in the zip code area or search Facebook for “Natchez MS National Day of Prayer.”


Renae Loy ministers to children and families at Crosspoint Church in Natchez.