Any Christian who’s really honest with themselves has asked, or is still asking, the question “why pray?” especially if He already knows our thoughts and His will is going to be done anyway. Here are four reasons why we should pray (beyond the fact the Bible tells us to and that Jesus and many others exemplified prayer as a practice for God’s people):
1. Prayer humbles us. Through prayer, we acknowledge our needy, helpless position before God (supplication), we acknowledge His greatness and our depravity (worship, adoration), and we serve others by spending our time and energy on them (intercession). Proud people don’t pray.
2. Prayer is a bending of the will. But, whose will is being bent? It often becomes our attempt to bend God’s will ours. We have so many things we want, and we think we know what’s best for us and for others. However, God uses prayer to bend our will to His. Psalm 37:4 says that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart, meaning He will give me the desires He wants me to have. What I want will become what He wants when I delight in Him.
3. Prayer is both a means and an end. Prayer certainly can be a means that accomplishes an end in that we pray with an expectation God will hear and answer. But, when asking for things becomes the default all the time, we’re missing something. Sometimes we just need to be with God, to be open and honest with Him. Talk to Him like a child to a father. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t pray for anyone. Just share what’s on your heart and then listen. Be still and learn to hear the voice of God as you read His word.
4. Prayer is what brings life to our relationship with the Lord. We can read books about George Washington just like we can read books about God. We can know all there is to know about our first President – what people said about him, what he did, to include things we can experience even today – but we will never truly know him as a person because, obviously, he’s dead. Likewise, if we only read the Bible and other books about God, go to church, listen to sermons, but never pray, we are not in a relationship. We can say God is real all we want, but if we don’t talk to Him as if he’s real, and not just real, but a personal God who wants us to know Him and enjoy Him more, we are acting as if He is not real, or, if He is, that we cannot know him any more than we can know George Washington. Prayer validates that we believe God is real and that He cares about us.
More in-depth discussion on the topic of prayer can be found here: