The most important reason to pray is to grow closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, you are filled with the Holy Spirit and that gives you great power. But prayer is talking to God, and a relationship with God is the most important thing in our life. If we pray only to get things, or go to God in prayer only when we want something, we are being selfish and missing out on the true meaning of prayer, and missing out on huge blessings.
Here is a short account of how I learned the incredible joy of the relationship with the Holy Spirit. It happened one summer.
Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. Summer sounds such as crickets chirping, honking horns, kids laughing sounded like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month praying after work, a new thing for me. I spent time talking to God, not really asking for anything, just talking to Him.
I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….
It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.
They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.
I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to pray and meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.
I started out praying for 30 minutes because I had nothing else to do, due to the fact that my friends were gone. Then as the days went on, the prayer stretched into an hour, then two hours. There were some days that I prayed for three hours at a time in the evening. That brought me close to God and brought me a lot of joy. I wasn’t praying to seek anything from God, just to be close to Him.
Sometimes after an evening of prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for anyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.
Even nowadays when I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan or my neighbor’s air conditioner humming, these sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times. But most of all, I learned the joy of the Holy Spirit, the incredible wonder of being close to God.
This is from my book Amazing Power of Prayer. Click to see the ebook.