Via ASSIST News Service

“In everything by prayer and supplication…” (Philippians 4:6 KJV)

The more I read the Bible, the more I am convinced that God has made prayer indispensable for carrying out His will here on earth. The Scriptures are full of examples showing that when God wants to do a work He first gets His people to pray for it.

From the work of our Lord Jesus to Paul to the Old Testament prophets, praying for the Father’s will was always an essential part of the equation. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, prayer played an integral role. Even though the Father had planned this miracle before the foundation of the earth, He still had Jesus pray before the miracle could take place. Jesus prayed, the Father heard and the great deed was accomplished.

PICTURE: © Kristen Price/


Paul writes in Colossians 4:3, “And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message...” Doesn’t this imply that the door for Paul’s message would not be opened if the people did not pray? Why ask people to pray if God would open the door anyway?

In Daniel 9 we read how God had spoken through His prophet Jeremiah that Jerusalem would lie desolate for seventy years. One would think that when the seventy years were up that Jerusalem’s desolation would simply be over just as the prophet foretold. Not so. In order to fulfill that prophecy God stirred up Daniel to pray for it.

So what happens if we don’t pray?

In Ezekiel 22:30 when God wanted to hold off from judging His people and their land, He looked for someone to stand in the gap and intercede so that destruction could be averted. Alas, God found no-one (what a sad verse) so He went ahead with His judgment. He didn’t do what He wanted because there was no one to intercede.

God is sovereign and can do whatever He wants. Yet it seems He has chosen to carry out His will only as we pray, perhaps using our prayers as hands-on training in preparation for our reigning with Him in eternity. In any event, He has not revealed any plan B for prayer. This means that we need to be always ready to stand in the gap and pray for His will to be done. Satan will oppose us. So will our flesh. But prayer is our high calling. Let’s do it!

Colin Stott is international prayer coordinator for Global Recordings Network (GRN), a mission that provides audio Bible stories in more than 6,000 languages and dialects.