It was the eve of the US National Day of Prayer, and a Christian leader was being interviewed on national television. With a question that seemed devised to trip up his guest, the interviewer referred to the nation’s worsening moral crisis and said, “Does that mean the Lord didn’t listen to last year’s prayer?”

“No,” came the insightful reply. “God is sovereign, and you have to accept how He works and when He works.” How true that is!

Many people think of prayer only in terms of asking and receiving. But it’s more than results. It’s about relationship. One of the most powerful reasons to pray is to maintain a strong relationship with God.

Prayer is conversation with Someone we love and with whom we want to stay close. It is communication with our heavenly Father. Notice how the writer of Psalm 84 longed to be near to God: “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (v.2). When we pray, we are enriched by the growing bond that develops between us and the Lord.

Prayer is complex. But we mustn’t miss the great truth that when we as God’s children draw near to Him in prayer He draws near to us (Jas. 4:8). That’s all the motivation we need to make every day a day of prayer.