Why Prayer Matters – An Invitation to Dwell with God

By Karen Isbell

I sat outside the door listening to the murmur of their pleas. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were praying, only the hum of their voices. Until I could drive, their voices were background music while I did my homework. I had a front row seat watching my mom gather with women to pray. I am certain so many of my decisions and steps were birthed and fought for behind those doors.

But I’m forgetful and in the noise of my day to day it’s easy for me to forget what I heard and learned sitting outside those doors.

I forget that prayer matters when I’m tired and just want a few minutes alone.

I forget that prayer matters when solving it my way seems faster than waiting on God.  

I forget that prayer matters when it seems as if my prayers are falling on deaf ears.

Will you take a few minutes with me today to remember why prayer matters?

Prayer isn’t just a hopeful means to ask God for something. It’s an invitation from Him, the God of the universe, the God who knit you and me together, the God who knows every detail of every moment of every day we have breathed a breath. An invitation to know Him and be known by Him.

In the Old Testament under the old Covenant only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, where the Presence of God dwelt. The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a thick curtain called the “veil”.  In the Old Testament only a few people entered into God’s presence.

But then Jesus.

The veil in the tabernacle was torn when Jesus died. Ripped, top to bottom and God’s presence became available to every believer. No longer did His presence dwell behind a curtain, only available to a few. Now it was accessible to all.

Prayer matters because it is our gateway to the presence of God.

Let’s pause for a moment.

Maybe you have heard this countless times or maybe you haven’t heard it ever before. Regardless of your relationship with this truth, let’s pray and ask for fresh eyes. Let’s ask that we wouldn’t forget, in the noise of the day to day, that our God has given us access to His throne. (1)

We intentionally spend time alone with each of our three daughters, giving them our full attention. I am always amazed at what they share in those times alone. Bits and pieces of their hearts are revealed that get overlooked when the other siblings are competing for my attention. When we know we have full access to someone we feel free to leave the shallow end and swim into the deep.

We don’t have to compete for God’s attention, we have it. He has removed every barrier to Himself through Jesus. He is eager to meet with us and hear our prayers, but the noise of life and the lies of the enemy often keep us in the shallow end, believing the deep end is for others. Let’s be brave today and swim closer to the deep end. Let’s respond to His invitation to dwell in His presence.

Let’s remember that prayer matters because it changes us. It transforms, convicts and brings new life. No one who came in contact with Jesus was left the same. Even the rich man who chose his possessions and wealth over Jesus left being more aware of the condition of his heart.

Prayer matters because the presence of God doesn’t leave us the same.

But It doesn’t just change us, it changes others and it changes eternity. The prayers we pray matter for the sake of others. Through prayer God invites us into the story He is writing. We get to play a part in seeing lives changed and hearts transformed. Let’s not forget that prayer matters even when we don’t see the fruit on earth.

Prayer matters because our prayers will echo in eternity.

Sitting outside the doors of my mom’s prayer gathering’s, I learned that prayer matters. But it’s so easy to forget.

Let’s remember together today that prayer matters because:

a plea for provision can produce an abundance.

a whisper for patience can transform frustration into joy.

a cry for a miracle can birth a testimony for God’s glory

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