Why Should We Pray?
Many years ago, there was a television game show called, The $64,000 Question. Contestants would be asked general knowledge questions. The questions would increase in difficultly until ultimately the top prize question, the $64,000 question would be asked. Even though the show only lasted a few years, it affected the culture of the day. When anyone was asked a very difficult question, the respondent might say, “Now that’s a $64,000 question.”
A $64,000 question for today might be – “Why should we pray?” If God is all knowing (and He is), if God is a God of love (and He is), if He knows what we need before we ask Him (and He does), then why should we pray? This answer will take more than one article to relate.
- Because Jesus did
We should pray because Jesus did. We see that in Mark 6:46 and so many other places. In fact, prayer was such a pattern in His life that it led the disciples to say to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” If Jesus prayed, it should go without need of elaboration that we should pray.
- Because that is what Jesus is doing
Stop and consider what Jesus is doing right now. What did He tell the disciples He would be doing? In John 14, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). Here we see one thing Jesus is doing.
The Apostle Paul tells us something else He is doing. In Romans 8:34 he wrote, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Here, Paul tells us He is praying for us. I do not claim to understand how all that works or what that looks like, but I believe what it says and believe that is what He is doing right now. Because Jesus prayed and is praying for us, we should pray.
- Because when we pray coincidences happen
Now, we don’t usually like the word coincidences in a context of prayer, but I hope you know what I mean and I hope you will let me use it in a good way to speak of the providence of God; the God moments we experience. When we pray things happen that cannot be explained any other way. You meet someone with common interests in a situation that cannot not be explained any other way but it being a God moment; a providential encounter. You read something in the Word one morning and pray God would apply that in your life. Later that same day, in an unplanned conversation, the truth revealed in the Scripture that morning is exactly what you needed for the moment. When we pray things happen that cannot be explained any other way.
- Because we are seeking the will of God
In prayer, many times we are seeking the will of God. We do not need to try and recount all the times and situations where we are seeking the will of God. If we let our minds dwell on this, there are an infinite number of times and prayers where we are seeking the will God individually, for family, for church, for racial reconciliation, etc. Since it is impossible to know the exhaustive and complete will of God at any one moment, we keep praying because we are continually seeking the will of God.