By Rev. Lynette Hagin
Prayer is our spiritual oxygen, and just as oxygen is vital to our natural life, so prayer is vital to our spiritual life. We need to pray regularly and continually in order to live as God intended.
Each of us will face trying circumstances in life. We could never win a war without fighting some battles. We’re going to have trials, but in our trials we can build our faith. We do not have to be moved by the circumstances in our life. When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will take us from victory to victory.
Many people asked my husband and I how we made it after Brother Hagin went to Heaven. We made it by resting in the Lord Jesus Christ and by the prayers of the saints. We know that people all over the world were praying for us, and we know how powerful prayer is.
Brother Hagin was known for his strong prayer life. I used to watch him sit quietly in my office, not saying a word to me. But I could see his lips moving, and I knew he was praying in the Spirit. He prayed continually. And we need to pray continually, because prayer changes things!
God has called each and every one of us to pray! Christians are called to have a lifestyle of prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 Paul says, “Pray at all times—on every occasion, in every season—in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty” (Amplified Bible).
We often think of prayer as a means of calling upon our heavenly butler, saying, “Give me this. I need that. I want this.” Or we think of prayer as calling upon our heavenly lifeguard. “Lord, I’m drowning. Help me! Save me!” But this isn’t how we should pray. Prayer should be something we do on a continual basis, not just when we want something or are in trouble. In fact, it should be as automatic to us as breathing.
Taking in oxygen is vital to our life. If we don’t continually receive oxygen, we will die! Imagine if on each Sunday we said, “Okay, I’m going to take my gulp of oxygen for this week.” It wouldn’t be long before we keeled over! We have to breathe oxygen on a daily basis—every hour, every minute.
Prayer is our spiritual oxygen. We need it continually. But too many times, Christians pray on Sunday and think they don’t need to pray any more that week. Or they will pray before meals and think they are all prayed up. Then they wonder why they aren’t living a victorious life—it’s because they only take one gulp of prayer for the week (or month), and that’s not enough to get by on. To be victorious and spiritually healthy, we must live a life of prayer.
Many Christians have been taught about prayer, and we need to be taught how to pray. But we can be taught and taught and taught, and if we don’t actually pray, we won’t really learn how to pray.
I remember taking Driver’s Education in school. Back then in Texas, taking Driver’s Education meant being able to receive a driver’s license at age fourteen. I could hardly wait to take those classes, because I wanted to drive so badly! I was in a hurry to drive because I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be able to do what I wanted to do and go where I wanted to go.
During the first two weeks of the class we learned the rules and regulations of driving. We learned about road signs, signal lights, the distance to maintain between us and the car ahead, and so forth. But did knowing the rules qualify us to drive? No. We had yet to actually get in a car and start driving!
It’s important to know the rules of driving. But to become a good driver, a person should spend more time practicing the actual driving of a car than they do learning the rules. And it’s the same way with prayer. To be successful in prayer, we need to spend more time actually praying than studying the rules of prayer. But so many times, we have it backwards. We spend all our time learning the rules of prayer without actually praying.
Yes, it’s important that we learn how to pray. But it’s even more important that we pray. Prayer is not easy. It takes work, and the enemy tries to keep us from praying. He offers so many distractions, trying to consume our time—even with good things! Why doesn’t the devil want Christians to pray? He knows there is power in prayer.
In driving school, the more we practiced driving, the better drivers we became. And the more you and I pray, the better “pray-ers” we will be!
I have liked to pray ever since I was a child. But I have never wanted to share my prayer life with other people. I have always been very private in my prayers. I wanted to keep my prayer life between God and me. Growing up, I heard other people pray such beautiful prayers. They used all sorts of adjectives and beautiful words, and I’d think, God, I don’t pray like that. You know I just get to the point. So I’ve never wanted to let others in on my prayer life.
I told God, “I live such a public life. It seems I’ve lived my whole life in a glass house. Can’t I just keep my prayer life between You and me?”
And He said, “No. You need to help others to develop a relationship with their Heavenly Father.”
Each minister is used in different areas, and one of the areas in which God seems to have used me is in leading others to pray. God has a plan for each of us, and it’s important that we learn to follow the plan of God for our life. How do we follow that plan? We pray out the plan of God!
So I am going to be obedient and share what I have learned and practiced concerning prayer. Lately, when my husband, Ken, and I travel to hold meetings, I have been teaching in the morning sessions on the subject of prayer. But I don’t just teach. After the message, we practice what we’ve learned—we pray!
I want to share with you and our other readers the same prayer principles that I have shared in meetings throughout the country. These principles will help you learn about the “rules” of prayer in that they will teach you how to pray. But remember, it’s not enough to learn how to pray. You must spend time practicing what you’ve learned. I encourage you to read these articles on prayer and then to spend time praying as soon as you finish reading. This will help you put into practice the principles being taught.
God knows how important prayer is; that’s why He gave us instructions to pray and instructions on how to pray. Even the devil knows how important prayer is. Now it’s time for Christians to realize its importance and to devote ourselves to a lifestyle of prayer.
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