Prayer is one of those mysterious and somewhat confusing aspects of the Christian life. We know that we’re supposed to pray but we often struggle with the Why issue. And when we don’t have a good answer we default to, because we’re told to (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Sometimes that’s a really good answer.
But we want more. We want answers to questions like, If God is sovereign, why should we pray? Or, If God has planned everything, how much difference can my prayers make?
These are legitimate questions that deserve thoughtful answers. But I want to offer two, perhaps simpler reasons for you to pray.
Prayer is a way of acknowledging who God is.
When you pray about problems you are saying, God I can’t handle this by myself. It’s bigger than me. I need help. I need You.
When you pray in confession you are saying, God I sinned against you. I want our relationship to be right. I don’t want this to come between us. I don’t want to face life with a strained relationship.
When you pray in thanksgiving you are saying, God I recognize that you did this. It wasn’t anything that I did. You did it. I’m grateful.
When you pray in adoration you are saying, God you deserve all of my praise. You alone are worthy.
Prayer is our way of acknowledging that we need God, that we are willing to humble our self before Him, that we’re a thankful people and that He is the object of our love.
Prayer is also an expression of your faith.
Even when you don’t understand how prayer works – and especially when you don’t understand how it works, to pray says something about your faith.
It says that you believe when you don’t understand.
It says that you trust Him when your way is dark.
It says that you won’t give up when giving up is the logical and easy thing to do.
It says that you value prayer even when you don’t see the value of spending time in prayer.
Prayer is perhaps the greatest expression of faith available to the Christian.
It’s questionable whether or not we’ll ever find completely satisfactory answers to some of the great and difficult questions about prayer. But you don’t need answers to those questions in order to pray.
Pray to acknowledge that God is your God and you need Him. Pray to express your faith in Him.
Stay in the Word