I was recently asked this question by a loved one: why pray? This person was facing a situation concerning the possibility of a big change in their family’s lives. They had been praying that God’s will would be done in their circumstance, and that He would help them be patient and rest in the knowledge that He knows what’s best. The question then became, “If we are praying for God’s will to happen, and we believe that God is sovereign, why pray? Doesn’t God know what our future holds before it happens? Can God change circumstances according to our prayers?”
There are many reasons why we pray. Here are a few that I feel are important to remember:
We pray because God commands us to pray–and there are added benefits! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philipians 4:6-7 NLT)
We pray because Jesus prayed. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. (Mark 1:35 NLT)
Our prayers are a way to communicate with God. God wants a relationship with us; He wants us not only to speak to Him, but to listen as well. “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me in earnest, you will find Me when you seek Me.” (Jeremiah 29:12,13, NLT)
We learn from God as we pray: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Psalm 143:10, NLT)
We receive God’s wisdom and understanding. “If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask Him, and He will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” (James 1:5, NLT)
We see God’s power at work in our lives as we pray. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16b, NLT)
We acknowledge God’s grace and power when we pray. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely. (Psalm 63:3-9 NLT)
I know there are other answers to the question, “Why pray?” (Feel free to share your thoughts, please, on the blog’s comment section.)
I have been learning about God through prayer for 24 years now. (Sadly, before then my prayers were very sporadic, more along the lines of “Please help me, God!”–not saying that’s bad, but there’s so much more to prayer than asking.) I have journals upon journals recording how God has answered many of my prayers in ways that I surely would have missed had I not been in communication with my Father. God’s answers to my prayers are so unique, unusual, timely, and miraculous that there is absolutely no way these answers could have occured without God’s supernatural intervention. (Think “You just can’t make this stuff up!”) My faith has grown immensely as I have been reminded daily of God’s love, grace and mercy towards me.
I leave you with this last thought: “He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.” (Isaiah 30:19)
God loves you, my friends, and He is truly gracious as He hears answers your cries for help. I pray that each of you will rest in His great love for you.
Praying for you today!