I think most Christians would agree that we all need to learn more about prayer and pray more often. So why then don’t we?
Let’s face it—we have some prayer hang-ups.
One major reason we don’t pray better than we do, is that we have questions which lead to uncertainty. Uncertainty affects our faith which in turn affects our prayer life.
Last week we established that prayer requires faith and how to grow in our faith.
One of the questions that can affect our faith is:
Why should we pray in the first place if God already knows everything, including what we’ll ask Him for?
A problem with this line of questioning is it diminishes the purpose of prayer to a simple means to get God to do what we want.
We know what we want and ask God to carry out, and even tell Him the steps He should take to get us there. Or we realize—or fear— that God may have different ideas than what we desire. Now instead of asking, we don’t pray at all.
He knows it all anyway. He probably won’t give me what I want, so I’m not praying. I’ll just let Him do what He’s already going to do.
This is a very passive approach at relating with God. It isn’t really relating. God didn’t create us to be robots and accept everything He arranges, most likely with resentment because we don’t like where He has us headed.
God is so much more! He is seeking an intimate heart to heart relationship with us. Through prayer we experience intimacy with our creator. We see evidence of God’s desire to communicate with us throughout the Bible.
WHY WE PRAY
GOD COMMANDS US TO PRAY
“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)
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO US THROUGH PRAYER
“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)
GOD INVITES US TO BRING OUR CONCERNS, NEEDS AND BURDENS TO HIM
“Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NLT)
GOD GIVES WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING THROUGH PRAYER
“If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking.” (James 1:5 NLT)
GOD RESPONDS TO THE PRAYERS OF HIS PEOPLE
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)
GOD USES HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE THROUGH PRAYER
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22, NLT)
“Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23, NLT)
GOD EXTENDS HIS POWER TO US THROUGH PRAYER SO THAT WE CAN RESIST TEMPTATION
“ Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41, NLT)
JESUS PRAYED AS OUR EXAMPLE TO PRAY
“After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23, NLT)
To avoid prayer is to live a passive life that doesn’t allow God into the deep desires of our hearts. And more tragically, we miss out on knowing the desires of His! To ask, submit, trust, and even argue (as King David did) with God is messy and sometimes scary, but infinitely important.
Join me in a quest to know God better and become a PRAYER WARRIOR!
We will continue on the theme of prayer throughout the month of October.
Prayer: Father God, I want to be a prayer warrior. As I seek Your guidance through the truth of Your word, teach me how to pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.