Paul emphasizes that we are always to pray first and not as a last resort—going to our friends first, then to a pastor or counselor, and finally ending up on our knees. Jesus tells us, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). We are to go to the Lord first!
Our ministry receives heartrending letters from multitudes of broken Christians. Families are breaking up; people who walked faithfully with Christ for years are living in fear and defeat. Each of these people has been overcome by something—sin, depression, worldliness, covetousness—and year after year, their problems seem to get worse.
Yet, what shocks me most about their letters is that very few of these Christians ever mention prayer. They turn to tapes, books, counselors, call-in radio programs, therapies of all kinds, but rarely to prayer.
Why is it so hard for Christians to seek God for their desperate needs when they are in times of crisis? After all, the Bible stands as one long testimony that God hears the cries of His children and answers them with tender love.
- "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalms 34:15).
- "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles" (verse 17).
- "This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
- "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22).