Personal prayer is the juncture when a child of God could pour his heart to Jesus. When it is true that every individual has to face life endowed with challenges, temptations, triumphs and joyous moments all by himself, it is equally factual that he ought to receive the strength from the Almighty to encounter all of these with courage, wisdom and strength. For Jesus himself said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15: 5)".The moments spent in the presence of the Lord defines the intensity with which the life of any child of God is successful or not, amidst the enormous twists and trials common for any man. To him to who takes everything to God in prayer, all the works of his hands prosper. The Psalmist records in Psalm 18: 29, "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall". Such a person is also prepared to encounter the oddest happening which comes his way. The heart of the one who shares all his weakness, failures, strengths and accomplishments with God Almighty, is as strong as the lion, readily prepared to meet anything big or small, tough or easy, that is destined for him to handle. Nothing could shake his emotions, and he could boldly confess, "He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62: 6)".
Personal prayers don't take the same fashion always. Sometimes it's filled with songs of praise and thanks unto God, while at few other instances, they are more in the form of intercession with inexpressible groanings (Romans 8: 26). At times, they are nothing more than just tears or at some other instances, it is just to kneel down in silence in the presence of God and keep feeling the comfort in His comforting presence. Few other moments, personal prayers are heaped with vehement cry coupled with being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and wrestling in prayer. Personal prayer is important in the promotion of our living relationship as children of God with our Father who is goodness itself, with Jesus Christ his Son and our Redeemer, and with the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier. A life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. Personal prayer promotes and improves our participation in liturgical and community prayers. When a man of God is unable to spend time with God all alone in private, it is totally impossible for him to unite together with others as a small group or a congregation in prayer, worship and adoration. Just the way a child loves to share special moments with his father by being intimate with him at home all alone, the gift that a child of God has received to nourish his communion, relationship and intimacy with God, his Father is the time of personal prayer.
Jesus himself insisted on personal prayer when He said, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6: 5, 6)". He not only preached, but also practised. Amidst His busy schedules of healing the sick, calming the storms, rising up the dead, travelling to places on foot and teaching to the multitudes who followed him always, Jesus was keen in setting up a model to what he preached. Matthew records this in 14: 23, "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone". Mark also records the same in 6: 46, "And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray".
When a child of God remains firm in personal prayer inspite of the unstable, threatening, defeated and uncertain circumstances, the Lord whom he relies upon, fights for him to turn all existing scenarios topsy turvy. This certainly comes to pass and could confess, "It is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. (Psalm 118: 23)". Such an instance isn't a myth, but truly happened to one of our Biblical forefathers recorded in Genesis 32: 22 - chap 33. Jacob, who fled from the rage of his sibling brother Esau for having deceived their almost blind old father and received all the blessings that would have otherwise inherited by Esau, the firstborn, was returning to his hometown after two decades. Fear grasped him as he felt a lump in his throat, for his brother had sworn to kill his fleeing brother the day he returned home. Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother with these words, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and women servants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight". And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, we went to your brother Esau, and also he is on his way to meet you with four hundred men with him. Undoubtedly, Jacob was quite a wise chap who after exhibiting cunning plans of parting his people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands saying, "If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape", rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the brook Jabbok. Letting them cross the brook with all that he had, Jacob was left alone and there he began to wrestle in prayer through all night with the words, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me". The Lord was moved for he descended to bless him by changing the situation entirely, for the Scripture records, "And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept". What a memorable reunion! Had Jacob not chosen to wrestle with God in prayer but only to lean upon his wit, he would have been the wretched man upon the earth. Personal prayers indeed are much powerful, miraculous and wonder-working.
It is the time a child of God humbles before the Lord and confesses his guilt, trespasses and shortcomings. It is the time to rejoice in the Lord with all our heart. It is the time to examine one's deeds in the light of the Lord and to be unified with the Lord in Spirit. It is the time set aside for strengthening the Father-Child relationship. The Lord who watches in secret rewards such of his children openly for His name to be glorified!