\”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything,
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. \” Prayer is our greatest Christian privilege but we may as well admit our greatest Christian failure. All of us need to learn to pray more and to pray better. But one of the reasons we don\’t pray better than we do, or any more than we do, is that we have questions about prayer. These questions cause us uncertainty. Then our uncertainty sometimes neutralizes us and we become hesitant about prayer. We will look more closely in the coming weeks about the vital subject of prayer. As we begin this new year, what more important commitment could we make than to commit ourselves more to prayer? If we\’re going to impact our families, our nation, and our world in these critical days, prayer is where it begins. What was the first thing the Early Church did after Jesus\’ ascension? \”They returned to Jerusalem to an upper room\” and \”continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. \” ( ). Even a casual reading of the book of Acts confirms how totally the disciples depended upon prayer how they dared not make a move without committing to prayer, seeking God for His guidance and deliverance through prayer. \”And they continued steadfastly in the apostles\’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers\” ( ). \”Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer. \” ( ). \”But we will give ourselves continually to prayer. \” ( ). \”. prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God. \” ( ). If those who walked alongside our Lord for three years were dependent upon prayer, how much more so are we? What a grave mistake we make if we are casual about our prayer life.
One of the questions most often asked about prayer is: Why should we pray when God already knows our needs? Why tell God what He already knows or ask Him to do what He already wants to do? Thank God we don\’t have to understand prayer in order to pray. Yet, there are some consistent valid questions people have concerning prayer, but these must not hinder us from relying upon it. First, here are two reasons we don\’t We don\’t pray to impress God. We\’re not heard for our \”much-speaking. \” You don\’t have to use poetic language or be an amateur Shakespeare. If an earthly child can speak to an earthly father, you can speak to your Heavenly Father. We\’re told to cry out to Him as our \”Abba\” Father literally translated, \”Daddy. \” (, ). We\’re not praying to impress Him. We don\’t pray to inform God. You can\’t tell God anything He doesn\’t know. So if we don\’t pray to impress or inform God, why then do we pray? We Pray to Invite God It\’s very important to understand this: we are inviting God into our lives when we pray. When we pray, we experience Fellowship. We become \” workers together with Him\” ( ). When we pray, God gives us the joy and privilege of administrating His kingdom, His affairs working together with Him. He could do it without us. We could do it without Him. But what a glory that God allows us the privilege of doing it with Him! Development. When we pray, God is growing us. Have you ever prayed and didn\’t receive immediately what you asked for? What did you do? You kept on praying, but you also began to search your heart and life to see if something was hindering God\’s answer. Many times there is.
God uses prayer to grow us. Dependency. God never wants us to live lives independent of Him. If God just did everything for us and we never had to pray, soon we would begin to take things for granted. We would cease to depend upon God. Prayer Binds Us to God That\’s why we tell God what He already knows. He knows what we have need of before we ask, but we\’re definitely, specifically, unqualifiedly told to pray and to ask not to impress or inform God, but to invite God, so that we might have that fellowship with Him, so that we might grow, and we would learn to depend upon Him. What is it all right to pray for? Does God answer the prayers of the unsaved? Next time, we\’ll answer those questions. As a child, I wondered about the sovereignty of God. It was a simple question. If God knew what I wanted, why didnБt He just give it to me? Why did He have to wait for me to ask Him? As I grew older and read more of the Bible, I encountered the story of the sick man to whom Jesus said, БDo you want to be made well? Б ThatБs odd, I thought. The man is sick Jesus; he obviously wants to be well. But studying that scripture made me realize something deeper in the story. In answering JesusБ obvious question, this man said, БI have no man to put me in the waterББ This guy is being weird now, I thought. Just say yes. I want to be well. Do you see what I see here? I believe God isnБt just about healing our sick bodies or giving us Бthings. \’ Those are small potatoes. What He wants to deal with is the state of our heart. Are we dependent on Him, or do we have all these other agendas or channels of provision and support? Our God does not exist to fulfill our every whim.
As a matter of fact, if He gave us everything we ever wanted or thought we needed, weБd self-sabotage. He treasures a relationship with us above everything else. He wants us to come to Him with our thoughts, questions, and feelings. He wants to show us our hearts and reveal to us where our allegiances lie so that He can refine us and make us more like Him. That isnБt going to happen if He simply gives us everything that pops into our minds. That sick man had spent decades depending on people. He looked to others for help; he needed a middleman. Jesus came to show him that life Himself was on the scene and all he had to do was connect. I believe that encounter didnБt just leave that man with a healthy body but also a transformed soul. So why should you pray even though God knows everything? Here are two simple reasons. 1. He wants to hear it from you. He wants to connect with your spirit, your soul, the deepest part of you that you might have hidden from Him in the past. He treasures you and knows that beyond what youБre asking for, what your soul really wants is Him. You see God made us, each of us. He knows how weБre wired and he knows what we need. He recognizes our tendency to medicate sometimes because we run away from the truth. If He gave us everything we ever needed before we even asked HeБd be feeding our fleshly desires and our spirits would go empty. He loves us too much to do that. 2. He wants you to listen to yourself. That man at the pool said the very thing that had been on his heart all those years of lying sick. He wanted help from others. Maybe he didnБt have the knowledge of whom God was, or maybe he hadnБt connected with Him as the Healer.
But Jesus came on the scene, asked him a simple question and revealed the state of his heart. б The same goes for us. Have you ever thought through your prayers and realized that all youБve been doing is asking God for stuff? Maybe it just dawned on you that youБve havenБt taken the time to really thank Him for the things you already have. Or prayed for others. Or asked God to empower you to do His work. I believe that our prayers bring clarity. Saying the words give us insight into the state of our hearts. We can then make changes, ask for the grace to look beyond ourselves and seek GodБs heart concerning every situation instead of simply rushing off and doing our own thing. Yes, God is sovereign. And in His sovereignty, He has created a way to bring us closer to Him. The veil is torn, and His presence is accessible. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Every day is a time of need, so make His presence a constant refuge for you and your family. Blessings! Image Credit: Thinkstock. com Remi Royб lives, writes and enjoys being in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Nigeria, she is passionate about her purpose which is following God every step of the way no matter the details. She is a contented wife, communications consultant and writing coach. She is the author of two books Ms. Unlikely and From the Sidelines and editor of, a collection of personal life journeys. When sheБs not working with clients, she spends time working on her next book and trying hard to be a morning person. You can find her at. Or on, and.