Among the vital signs of physical life are the pulse, blood pressure, and respiration.

Prayer is as necessary for spiritual health as breathing is for physical life and just as there are times when the body is almost in a state of suspended animation, when breathing is almost imperceptible, so there are Christians who show little or no evidence of being alive.

Breathing may be absent, shallow, convulsive, or it may be deep, regular, and life sustaining.

The prayer life of a Christian exhibits many of the same characteristics. It may be practically absent, very shallow, or convulsive, that is, resorted to only in case of emergency.

There are other Christians who avail themselves of the privilege of prayer as it is God’s will that they should, and with them this exercise is a deep and life-sustaining one.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism defines prayer as “an offering up of our desires unto God, for the things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sin, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.”

In a very real sense, next to salvation itself, prayer is the greatest gift God has given to his own. In his infinite wisdom and mercy he sees fit to release divine power as men pray. Prayer may be likened to the light switch on the wall—the current, wiring, and lights may all be in place but only as we throw the switch does the light or other gadgets become operative.

Find a Christian consistent and earnest in his prayer life and you will find an individual who has spiritual power in his life.

The Psalmist wrote: “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.”

God does hear prayer. There are those who think the main purpose of prayer is to bring our own lives in tune with God’s ...

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