It is my sincere hope that all of us pray to our Father in heaven, and pray often. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), and we should remember that this verse is a command from God that he expects us to obey. Prayer is not an optional thing if we want to be saved; since Christ is “the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb. 5:9), we must obey the commands to pray often if we want to see Heaven.
We should also want the Lord to be pleased with our prayers and to answer them. Have we ever stopped to consider what exactly it is that we pray for? Have we ever thought about for whose benefit it is that we are praying for? We should. Consider the example of Solomon’s prayer and God’s response to it (1 Kings 3:5-14). He did not ask that God give him a long life, or a lot of money. He did not ask that God do something bad to his enemies. Instead, he asked for wisdom and understanding to make the right judgment calls in life. God was so impressed with this that he not only gave Solomon wisdom, but also granted to him all the things that he didn’t ask for.
We can pray to our heavenly Father about our jobs, our health, our school work, and our finances. We have the example of a man God called honorable who prayed for these types of things (1 Chr. 4:9-10). These aren’t bad things to pray about, and praying about such things is certainly better than not praying at all. However, how many of these things will be with us a century from now? None!
Let’s remember to pray also for the spiritual, the things that we can keep forever such as love, mercy, humility, understanding, meekness, patience, and honesty. These are qualities of the heart that truly matter to God and will truly help us reach heaven. They, rather than our successes in this world, are what matter in the long run. Remember also that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), so we should pray for the spiritual and physical well-being of others more than for ourselves.
We should all want to get to heaven as our top priority, so let’s make sure we are aiming at the right target by asking for the best things to help us and everyone else get there. Let’s seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness before all other things, and He will provide the rest (Matt. 6:33).