I would say very important.
So important that God doesn’t just leave us to do it all by ourselves. Two parts of the Trinity – Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit actually have a full time role of praying for us, or helping us to pray.
That’s how important prayer is.
Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? (Romans 8:34)
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. (Romans 8:26)
Pray so you won’t become prey
If you want to rhyme the teachings of the Lord, “Watch and pray that ye fall not into temptation” (Matt 26:41) can easily become “pray so you wont become prey.” Essentially, the Lord admonishes us to pray because spending time with God in prayer provides us inside info on the wiles, and plans of the enemy, and we are better able to sidestep them.
Prayer is so key to our spiritual life that Jesus said, “men ought always to pray” (Luke 18:1). It is something we ought to do all the time just as he did.
If it’s so good, why do I struggle?
I don’t think this applies to just prayer. It is just the same with everything else. We’d probably all sooner have a burger than broccoli. To use the words the Lord used, “the flesh is weak.” Our natural inclination is against the tendencies that God wants to promote in us, and so we are not likely to naturally enjoy prayer.
Prayer is a cultivated taste. We have to choose to make it a priority, and deliberately develop a liking for it.
I suspect it can also be addictive and that’s the level I am hoping God’s grace will help me unlock soon.
how about you?