Prayer is essential to a Christian's spirituality; it is our avenue of communication with God. The Bible says ask not and get not, but ask and you shall receive. How can we ask God for anything without prayer? Not only that but prayer is a way to glorify God and give him praise, it's a way to get in touch with the Lord and feel the Holy Spirit aligned with our hearts as one without any distractions of the world. Prayer is often taken light-heartedly by "Christians" in today's world, but the power of prayer is utterly amazing. God is faithful and he answers prayers, so we must be faithful in our prayers, daily. I think one important thing to remember about prayers, however, is that God doesn't answer all prayers in what we would see as a favorable way. If he did, if we always got what we wanted, we would feel no need for God or sense of dependency upon him. Furthermore, the Lord is soveriegn in his power and plan for our lives, so if our prayers arn't in accordance with his will for our life, he isn't going to answer them. Some people will say, well how can God allow us to suffer and that be part of his perfect plan? As Christians, we are called to suffer, just as Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to earth and was beaten, mamed, disfigured and crucified. We are called to suffer and when we do, look at the cross and remember that our God came and suffered for us and experienced far worse than we ever will so that he can say, "I know what you're going through, because I went through it also."
Love is defined as......
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does
not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is
not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
Love is not sexual encounters or deep talks over coffee or any of that stuff.... Guys love is something that is SHOWN through ACTION.... Love is getting out there and being there for people, experiencing life with them, giving to the needy, devoting your time where it is needed, sacrificing in your own life and suffering in your own life so that others might live a little less impoverished, AND who knows, maybe even find Christ along the way. Love is the most impactful thing on the earth today and it seems like it is the least used action these days. This world is in such a dark and dismal place right now where people don't care for others and everyone is worried about the economy and all these superficial issues; but isn't the heart of the matter the lack of love? Would the state of the economy really matter if the people who had, gave, and if the people who didn't have gave their time.... the only way things are going to change in these days is through personal relationships and showing love. Whether it be to a complete stranger or to your best friend, showing Christ's love would do wonders. Take the story of Jericho Road for example (Luke 10:30-37):
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They
stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half
dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw
the man, he passsed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came
to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as
he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on
him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and
wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took
care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to
the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return I will
reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Which of these three do
you think was a neighbor to the man who fell in the hands of robbers?" The
expert in the law replied, "the one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him,
"Go and do likewise."
And thus the Mercy Ministry was born. Love is the answer people, and it's written all over the Bible, which if you're a Christian is our double-edged sword to live by.