Imagine receiving clothes you chose to never wear, cars you didn’t ever drive, or houses you never lived in. What would be the point? If we’re not going to use those things, we might as well not possess them.

God has given us a priceless gift for communicating with Him—prayer. Through it we worship Him, confess our sins, and tell Him what we need. As we spend time talking with God, we come to know Him better.

I’m inclined to focus on tangible things that are costly because I don’t want to waste what’s valuable. But what value can be placed on prayer? Jesus announced, “My Temple will be a house of prayer” as He drove “out the people selling animals for sacrifices” (Luke 19:45-46). He was offended by the buying and selling, “You have turned [the Temple] into a den of thieves” (Luke 19:46), but He understood the need for animal sacrifice. Lambs were sacrificed every morning and night at the temple so the Israelites could be in right relationship with God. Animal death was a cost of prayer.

But that was only the down payment. The book of Hebrews says animal sacrifice was consummated in the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God. Jesus ripped open the curtain that separated us from the Father and now raises His scarred hands to intercede for us before Him (Hebrews 7:25, 10:19-22). His death is the final and ultimate cost of our prayers.

I wouldn’t refuse the gift of a Versace suit, Mustang convertible, or an upscale condominium; I’d enjoy possessing them. But prayer is worth far more; nothing is more valuable. And it doesn’t cost “mere gold or silver,” but “the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 6:1-15