“Ask and it will be given to you,” Matthew 7:7a NIV
I have in the past wondered why an all powerful God would need me to pray. If God is all knowing, doesn’t he already know what I need? If God is all present then why do I need to tell God about my personal needs or the needs of others? Isn’t he already aware?
The first reason that we should pray is because Jesus taught us by example to pray. Jesus was a billboard for prayer. He prayed in temptation, he prayed before he healed, he prayed before he ate, and he prayed before he performed a miracle. Jesus prayed for himself, his disciples, and he also prayed for you and me. Jesus prayed for little children. In the garden he prayed to be spared the cross. On the cross Jesus prayed for his enemies. Jesus is still praying for us. “Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 NIV
The second reason that we should pray is that God loves to answer prayer. When the desire of my heart matches God’s desire for me then answered prayer is a done deal. The Bible says that our prayers are pleasing to God. “…the prayer of the upright pleases Him.” Proverbs 15:8b NIV When we ask, we must also believe that God is able to answer our prayer. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus makes it clear that if we don’t ask we will not receive. James 4:3 NIV tells us what can hinder us receiving an answer to our prayer. “When you ask you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
The third reason we should pray is because prayer changes us. There are examples in the Bible that prayer does change circumstances. Sometimes people were healed, other times their lives were protected and spared from God’s wrath. Many times God extended his mercy because someone prayed. Even when the disciples cried out to Jesus to calm the storm he did.
Other times our prayers are heard but circumstances do not change. Jesus is a prime example of this. God’s perfect will was for Jesus to become the sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world. Jesus prayed that if possible God would provide another way. I have experienced many answered prayers and many unanswered prayers. It is in my unanswered prayers that God changes me! One time I needed to come to the point of trusting God. Another time I needed to learn that I did not need to be vindicated. Another time God took my anger. On another occasion God taught me humility. It seems I always have a lesson to learn and God used my acceptance of unanswered prayer as a tool in changing my character.
The fourth reason to pray is that prayer provides opportunity for God to minister to us. It is during prayer that God strengthens our faith and comforts us. Even in unanswered prayer God gives us his peace during prayer. It is in prayer that confession of sin is made. During prayer God administers spiritual healing. Prayer is necessary because without prayer none of the above mentioned things could happen. Unless someone prays God does not work. He wants us to need him enough to ask.
The fifth reason we should pray is because Jesus commanded us to pray. We are to pray that our faith will not fail. We are to pray without ceasing. We are to ask God according to his will and it will be given. We are to pray with and for others. We are to give thanks to God in prayer. Jesus knew that prayer would be our communication with him. Prayer is the vehicle that allows us to have a personal relationship with God. Prayer allows us to call upon the Holy Spirit in our time of need. Prayer is always available to us and more dependable than any cell phone ever could be. Prayer is our direct line to heaven!
Do you feel that prayer is important?
When has God answered a prayer of yours?
Has God ever changed you and not your circumstance?
I pray that you continue to provide for me exactly what my spirit needs during prayer time. I also want to remember that you desire for me to ask you for what I need and petition you for the needs of others. I pray that you will continue to change me during the times of unanswered prayer.
In Your Son’s Name I pray. Amen.