“Why Should We Pray?”

Richard Thetford

S ome might ask “Why should I pray?” A Christian knows that talking to God is important in drawing them closer to God. God listens to the saints (His children), and when we understand that, then it gives us a closeness to our Father. We need God and we need to ask God to intervene on our behalf. When we pray, we recognize that God is in charge and we need His help to direct our steps in life (Jer 10:23).

A Fundamental Point

In James 1:5-7 it says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” We need to understand that when we are lacking in something, in this case wisdom, then we should pray to God and ask for it. But when we ask, make sure that we are asking in faith, fully expecting God to make the change in our life. A prayer without faith is a prayer offered in vain. A Christian that prays constantly to God is a Christian devoted on serving God. Are you praying to God in faith, fully expecting Him to change your life? Many times our lives are made miserable because we do not take the time to pray to God and allow Him to intervene and help us. How frustrating it must be to God to know that we need His help, but simply refuse to ask!

Consistency is the Key

Please take a moment and read the following scriptures in your Bible: Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 18:1-8; 11:5-8. What do you see in these verses? In each case, what is the one clear message that we can learn about persistency in praying? We must pray to God knowing that He WILL provide for us IF we ask in faith, and if we ask in a persistent manner, expecting Him to deliver. That is what Jesus was trying to teach concerning an individual’s prayer life. When our children want something, don’t they usually ask us for it? And if they REALLY want it, don’t they ask over and over -- even to the point of “wearing us out?” We need faith, a faith that knows God is listening and He will provide for our needs, we’ve just got to ask Him and be consistent about it. Sometimes we just need to stop and look around at life itself. Life is teaching us something whether we recognize it or not. Life says, I need help. God says, “ask and it shall be given unto you” (Matt 7:7).

Learning From The Old

The context of James 5:13-16 is prayer. Then in verses 17-18 it says: “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” Here we have a message about Elijah. Sometimes the praying of Old Testament characters are put in front of us in the New Testament to teach us lessons concerning our prayer life. What lesson do you understand James to be teaching here about prayer? First of all we should pray at all times, whether sick or glad. An effective prayer life can heal wounds, forgive others, and gladden our hearts beyond comprehension! We can also learn that God will listen to the prayers of the righteous and answer them. All we need to do is ask God to help us and He will. Elijah was a man of faith and the example before us is that he was sincere and “prayed earnestly”. Again, we are sometimes our own worst enemy because we don’t take the time to pray to God and allow Him to direct our steps. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing”. Why? Because when we have an active prayer life, communicating with God, then our lives will be enriched with all the spiritual blessings. Are you happy? Pray. Are you sad? Pray. Are you thankful? Pray. Pray all the time!