James 5:16 says: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (NIV)
I believe in the power of prayer, so it’s interesting to know that a prayer can cause people to believe. Prayer is effective not just when God waves his magic wand and calls a prayer “granted”, but over time as people grow to trust and invest in the power of God. What if God allowed there to be gaps in time where we wait on our prayers so that a) they could be answered by being counted to us as righteousness (from grace by faith), or b) so that other people could see our faith, and believe? As Christians, we are saved by faith alone, with the promise that a way was already made for us by Christ. If it takes time for God to answer our prayers because he is creating a greater harvest, by all means Father, take your time. If faith is externally expressed as works, then surely the steps we actively take to draw closer to God will only be enhanced by prayer, as it would be pretty awkward to slide on up to him without ever having started a conversation. Prayer helps us reflect and steadfastly thank him for how he works, and how he often delivers better than we’d pick out for ourselves.
If you really want to draw close to God and learn from him, pray. As detailed in James 5:13-20, prayer is really an all occasions sort of thing. If we love our earthly husbands or wives in such a way that we share our lives with them, and marriage is just a less almighty depiction of God, then we are called to share our lives with God in the same manner, for better or for worse. While your spouse can’t solve your problems, God can teach us in way that would be rejected if it did not come from him. As humans, it’s easy to blame a partner and cite their own flaws that make them unqualified to “judge” (aka, correct) us. You can’t really do that with God. He remains the immortal Kingpin.
If we aren’t in a prayer relationship with God, how can we receive the kind of love and support that either wont come from other people, or that we wouldn’t accept if it did? Prayer is a timeless thing. God has been answering people’s prayers from even before the beginning of time; he had it all the way planned out way before Genesis. If there is anyone you’d want on your side, it’s God, and through the power of prayer. Since only he can control most things, it’s better to ask for help and acknowledge his discretion, because he is the one who decides.