“Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer,” has been sung on Sunday but neglected on Monday.
Prayer is talking to God. When the council released Peter and John after commanding them “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus,” they returned to their fellow disciples. Luke records, “They lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said Lord, thou art God…" The disciples were addressing God; they were talking to God. Describing this action, Luke says “and when they had prayed” (Acts 4:18—31). In this narrative prayer is defined as talking to God.
Prayer is commanded. Though a privilege and a blessing, prayer is also a command. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). “Praying always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18). “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
Prayer is a blessing and a privilege. Privilege is defined as a “right, benefit, advantage, or favor.” Prayer is a right and benefit reserved for those who are God’s children. “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth” (John 9:31). “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (I Peter 3:12). While rebellious sinners are denied this precious privilege of prayer, God’s children have confidence God hears. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.” (I John 5:14).
Prayer is powerful. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). James illustrated this with Elijah, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” There is power in prayer.