As we draw closer to God in prayer, we get to know Him better. We learn the character of God. But that is not all that happens. Prayer also changes us. As we devote more time to prayer, we become better people. The more we pray, the more we transform into God’s image. They say, “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are.” This is also true about prayer. The more we pray, the more we become like our Lord.
Prayer is a way that God has ordained to sanctify us. In prayer, we are learning what God loves. As we pray, we are finding out what He cares about. Through prayer, we know what God approves of. The Spirit of God uses this knowledge to transform us. We learn about God in such a way that we become like Him in the process. The more we pray, the more we love what God loves. As we spend time in the Lord’s presence, we start to care about what He cares about. We grow God’s heart in our hearts.
That is why the Bible says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Genuine prayer involves not only our mind, but it also involves our heart and our affections. In an effectual fervent prayer, our hearts come into agreement with God. We intercede for what God loves and cares for. Our hearts start to break for what His heart breaks for. We develop God’s character of love and compassion.
This process of sanctification is very important. It also requires devotion to prayer. Our Savior is an example of such devotion. The Gospels tell us that Christ prayed often; many times Jesus prayed all night. Because Christ prayed so much, he was able to say that He did not do anything on His own but only what He saw His Father doing. As we get closer to God in prayer, we start acting more like His children. In other words, the more we pray, the more we know the heart and the character of God. As we devote our lives to prayer, we will know God’s will. Eventually, we will be able to say with Christ that as God’s children we do what we see our Heavenly Father doing.
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