Why Do We Pray?

77/365 days of blogging.

God has called us into a relationship with Himself.  And like all relationships, this one too requires communication. Prayer is communication between us and the Most Holy God. Throughout God’s Word we’re taught the significance and role of prayer.  God knows that only He can give us what we need.  It is only through prayer that we can experience life changing and renewing intimacy with God.

Jeremiah 29: 12-13 says this;  “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Deuteronomy 4:14 tells us; “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?.

God reveals himself to us through prayer.  We learn more and more about His character and how His perfect will is working itself out in our own life. Deepening our understanding of God also deepens our faith and desire to worship Him.  In psalm 143:10 Davids prayer was to be taught to do God’s will not his own.  A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it doesn’t recognize God’s power to redirect our lives.  Asking God to restructure our priorities awakens our minds and stirs our wills.

God invites us to bring our burdens to him.  To lay them at His feet so He can handle them for us.  He is more than able to bring victory to any challenge we face, if we let Him.  Prayer is the way to keep the line of communication open.  He tells us in Matthew 12:28;  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  We may be carrying heavy burdens of sin, oppression, persecution, or just the weariness in the search of a better walk with Him.  Jesus frees people from all these burdens.  The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. A relationship with God changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.

God also promises to respond to the prayers of His people.  In James 5:16 He tells us “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer.  The results are often greater than we thought were possible.  Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails.  This approach is backward.  Prayer should come first.  Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it, especially because God encourages us to do so.

God gives us wisdom and understanding through prayer.  James 1:5  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  Wisdom is not necessarily knowledge, but the ability to make wise decisions in difficult circumstances.  whenever we need wisdom, we can pray to God, and He will generously supply what we need.  Christians don’t have to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon the answers.  We can ask for God’s wisdom to guide our choices.

Wisdom means practical discernment.  It begins with respect for God, leads to right living, and results in increased ability to tell right from wrong.  God is willing to give us the wisdom, but we will be unable to receive it if our goals are self-centered instead of God-centered.  To learn God’s will, we need to read His Word and ask Him to show us how to obey it.  Then we must be willing to do what he tells us.

God extends His power to us through prayer so that we may resist temptation.  “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the fleshis weak.”  Matthew 26:41.  Watching means being aware of the possibilities of temptation, sensitive to the subtleties, and spiritually equipped to fight it.  Because temptation strikes where we are most vulnerable, we can’t resist it alone.  Prayer is essential because God’s strength can shore up our defenses and defeat satan’s power.

And finally…prayer can make you calmer and more at peace.  Prayer can give you power when you feel weak, replace the doubt and worry in your mind with calm assurance and confidence, and turn your thinking from negative thoughts into positive thoughts of a better future.  I think that prayer can actually make you “feel” better.  I know I am much calmer and remain more positive when I pray.  If I am having a hard time getting through a situation, I fall to my knees and pray and feel almost immediately relief.  Praise be to God who gives us the victory through prayer.  Without it…I am not sure I would survive any given day.

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