It is important to keep the cost of prayer in view. Jesus was incarnate (made flesh), kept the law perfectly in spirit and letter, was crucified, died and was buried, and on the third day was raised from the dead. That is where most of us stop preaching the Gospel, but that is not where the Gospel ends. It ends with Jesus ascending into heaven, returning back to the Father from whence He came. Why?
Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
Who is this group of captives He took back to be with Him and the Father? I hope you figured it out without me having to tell you, but just in case you didn’t, that group of willing captives is us, me and you. Jesus was born, lived, died, and resurrected all so that He could bring us back into the presence of God. Prayer is us taking advantage of the purpose of the Gospel. Prayer is us recognizing where it is we actually live and will spend our endless days in the future. And we won’t be by ourselves either, we will be together. We are willing captives, its plural.
One of the key ways we are shaped in Kingdom life is when we gather together with our Father for a time of prayer. A family meeting around His throne. A time of confession, not just of sin but of the truth. Learning to pray scripture together, to seek the face of God together, to learn His promises to us, to claim the places He has fulfilled His Word in the past in the Scripture, and celebrate when He does it in each others lives. A time where we consider the future and remember the past. A place where we can mourn together, weep together, celebrate together, and laugh together. These holy moments happen more often than not when we are praying and the reason we are not experiencing the fullness of the Kingdom life together is that we don’t spend time as we should before our Father’s Kingly throne together.
Consider the cost that was paid for us to come to the Father. Prayer, because of the Gospel, is an invitation to experience an earthly manifestation of the heavenly reality, together.