Prayer to God manifestly must hold great importance to those who would be truly spiritual. While God’s Word to us is always to have first place in our lives, prayer must certainly have second place; indeed, we must even study God’s Word with prayer for understanding and willingness to obey.
The Scriptures everywhere exhort God’s people to pray, and in the Epistles of Paul we find greater cause, greater reason and greater incentive than ever to pray — to pray “always,” “in everything,” “without ceasing.” The example of our Lord and of His apostles — particularly Paul — is a call to prayer. Every need, every anxiety, every heartache is a call to prayer. Every temptation, every defeat — yes, and every victory is a call to prayer.
Yet, merely praying, or even spending much time in prayer, is not in itself evidence of true spirituality. Many carnal Christians, still “babes in Christ,” and even many unsaved people, spend much time in prayer. But the truly spiritual believer will join the Apostle Paul in saying: “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also” (I Cor. 14:15). “With the spirit”: earnestly, fervently, pouring out to God my adoration, my supplications and my thanks. And “with the understanding also”: intelligently, with a clear grasp of what the Scriptures, rightly divided, say about God’s will and His provisions for my prayer life in this present dispensation of grace.