Why do we pray? Out of habit and duty? Do we pray so we can get stuff from God? Now, I believe there is nothing wrong with asking God to bless us. However, this is just one small but important reason why we should pray. There are a few more significant reasons. You might be surprised.
Some days I struggle to pray. I lose focus, get distracted, doubt if God hears me, and honestly, sometimes I get bored. So, I find myself slogging through and sweating it out. I know prayer should be more joyful, and many days it is. But, there are days when it’s mundane and monotonous. However, when I review the reasons why I should pray, I am motivated to talk with my Heavenly Father and experience greater joy in my time alone with him.
God Invites Us to Pray
Prayer is not a duty, but an invitation from our Father. Prayer is an invitation into fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, expressed in adoration, thanksgiving and intercession, through which we draw near to God and learn more of his will for our lives.
He invites us into purpose and power through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we understand the reasons why we should pray, we will realize all over again what God is inviting us into something precious and powerful – an ever-deepening relationship with him.
Prayer is Relationship
Prayer is based on God’s love for us. Through his grace, he gives us things which they do not deserve, while through his mercy he shields us from those things which we do deserve. Therefore, prayer is primarily a relationship with our heavenly Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). Prayer is deliberate and intentional communication that nurtures this relationship with the Father. It is our way of connecting daily with the living God and hearing him tell us who he is and who we are. To neglect this privilege is to ignore God himself and miss out on a promised joy to every follower of Jesus. To lean into this relationship is just one way we let God how much we love him. When we love someone, we will make time for them. So, what are some reasons why we should pray?
So, an invitation from and relationship with our Heavenly Father are foundational to understanding why we should pray. But, there are a few more reasons why followers of Jesus should pray.
We pray because…
- God invites us to pray (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8).
- Jesus spent time in prayer (Hebrews 5:7).
- Early followers of Jesus prayed (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4)
- The Apostle Paul prayed (Acts 9:10-11; 16:25; 20:36; 21:5)
God gave us the medium of prayer to…
- Defeat Satan (Luke 22:31-32)
- Save the sinner (Luke 18:13)
- Restore the backslider (James 5:16)
- Strengthen the believer (jude20)
- Raise up laborers (Matthew 9:38; Acts 3:2-3)
- Heal the sick (James 5:14-15)
- Glorify God’s name (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4)
- Accomplish the impossible (Matthew 21:22; Mark 9:29; James 5:17-18)
- Bless us (Matthew 7:7-11)
- Impart wisdom (James 1:5)
- Secure peace (Philippians 4:5-7)
- Keep us from sin (Matthew 26:41)
- Reveal the will of God (Luke 11:9-10)
The “why” of prayer should precede the “what” of prayer. God invites into a relationship with Him, not to just get stuff from him. He invites us into His purposes and power – power to defeat the enemy, save, restore, strengthen, raise up, heal, glorify God, accomplish the impossible, bless, impart wisdom, secure peace, keep us from sinning, and reveal God’s will. When we see prayer this way, it becomes less of punching the clock and donkeywork and more joyful anticipation of how our Father will move the world for his glory and our good.
Why do you pray?