having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever1 Peter 1:23
Once we believe in Jesus for eternal life, God’s seed takes root in us and starts to develop the root system necessary to take in vital nutrients such as water. We need to water our roots with His Spirit. The stronger the root system is, the easier it will be for the tree to survive the storms and drought. Moreover, as the root system grows, the tree also grows, flourishes, and starts producing mature fruit.
The book of Hebrews exalts Jesus as no other book in the Bible, showing what a radical change has been introduced through His perfect work on the cross and subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us. The author of Hebrews describes so brilliantly the difference between the imperfect things which are seen and are passing away, and the perfect things which are not seen and are coming.
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for usHebrews 9:24
While saints in the OT had to follow extremely complicated procedures and rituals in order to be able to approach God, we have complete access to Him through faith in Jesus.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.Hebrews 10:19
Just think about it. The high priest was the only one who could enter the Holy of Holies, and only once a year; plus there was a very high probability of him dying during that process. Not only can we enter the Holy of Holies freely now, but we have the very nature of God within us (John 1:12). And far from killing us, it can transform us into His image. What is the role of prayer in this?
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.1 John 2:28; 24
To abide in Christ is one of the most stressed commands in the New Testament. The condition which makes this possible is that His words must abide in us (John 15:7-8; 1 John 2:24). In his first epistle, John gives us instructions on how to abide in Him: by remembering what we heard from the beginning, that is God's truth that gave us birth in Christ (James 1:18; 1 John 5:11). Jesus gave us eternal life and granted us the righteousness of God. Prayer is an instrument by which we can remind ourselves of this life-giving truth and worship our Father for it. It enables us to glorify God with our lives and bear much fruit (John 15:8). Moreover, it helps us to stay watchful in the light of the Lord’s soon return. Jesus can return at any moment, and if we are raptured in a watchful state of mind, we will not be ashamed when we stand before Him and we will receive “the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:7; 9
Prayer is one of the ways we practice fellowship with God. Any fellowship starts with communication. The right to have fellowship with our Father depends upon us confessing our sins to Him. Notice that the word confess means recognizing our sins before Him by communicating them to Him. Once we do that, we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, not just the sins we confess. If we meet this condition, we keep walking in His light and avoid falling into spiritual darkness. The confession of sins is an important practice that can be done only through prayer. It is also the only way we can be cleansed, no good deeds, inner sorrow or regret can do that. Just confess to Him and He will cleanse you as He has promised. How good and merciful He is!
According to Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25, Jesus is constantly interceding for us. The Lord not only left heaven and became flesh, lived a perfect life, suffered shame and wounds, was crucified and died on the cross to give us access to the Father and eternal life (Isaiah 53:3-9), but He is now constantly interceding for us in His role as High Priest. Incredible! Shouldn’t that motivate us to intercede for others as well, just like we are commanded? (Eph 6:18) God empowered us to be His royal priesthood for a purpose (1 Pe 2:9). Interceding for others is part of our daily job here and we will give an account of that to the Lord.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.Romans 8:14
There are two different Greek words used in the NT to describe children (i.e. infants) of God and sons of God when referring to believers. All believers are children of God, but only those who are led by the Spirit are able to become mature sons. (See this blog post by Ken Yates for more on this.) Through prayer, we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit who enables us to grow and mature in Him. As we pray, we receive guidance and exhortation from God and He can correct our ways.
Finally, Jesus promised us specific rewards for our sincere prayers to the Father. We will be publicly rewarded for that in eternity (Matt 6:6). And we can only imagine what a blessing it will be if we are raptured during a heartfelt conversation with God!