I know this thought must cross your mind from time to time.
If God knows everything and if He’s going to do what He prefers, why take the time to pray?
Are we hoping to change His mind? Are we trying to get on His good side? Are we attempting to convince Him of what we want?
I’ve learned by now that prayer doesn’t change God. But it certainly changes us. Here are six reasons to keep praying…. and all of them will benefit you more than you realize:
- Prayer humbles us. When we can do things on our own, it convinces us we are strong, capable, and independent. But Scripture says we are all broken (Romans 3:23) and in need of God. When I pray, it reminds me that He is God and I am not. It puts me in proper perspective and keeps me relying on God for what I cannot accomplish on my own. Let prayer humble you.
- Prayer makes us obedient. Scripture commands us to pray. First Thessalonians 5:17 says “Pray continually.” We pray to thank God for His blessings, to praise Him for who He is, to commune with Him as we would with any loved one, and to seek to be a part of His purposes here on earth.
- Prayer brings peace to our hearts and minds. We tend to be anxious people. Stressed-out people. People who worry and fear. But Scripture tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). Just by praying, you are releasing your concerns to God and allowing Him to pour peace into your life.
- Prayer grows our faith. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” That statement of Jesus’ tells us a little faith can go a long way. That also makes me think that my faith is quite small at times because I fail to pray for bigger, bolder, more God-sized requests. I believe we are all given the same measure of faith, but faith is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the more it grows. Sometimes we don’t really exercise our faith that all things are possible until we start praying to God for the impossible. When we see that He really is the God of the impossible it grows our faith.
- Prayer grows our relationship with God. Prayer is communing with God and telling Him all that is on our hearts and minds. Yes, He knows it anyway. But communication is what grows a relationship. If we only pray for what we want, we are viewing God as a type of Santa Claus to whom we present our gift list. God wants you to “pour out your hearts to Him” (Psalm 62:8) because that kind of heart-felt and transparent conversation makes a relationship more intimate. The more you trust Him, the more you will tell Him. And the more time you spend with Him in prayer and in His Word, the more you will get to know Him and trust Him. Prayer should be the most intimate conversation we have with another. And God gives us the opportunity to share that intimacy with Him through prayer.
- Prayer allows a conduit for God’s work and glory. God can do anything — with or without us. But for some reason He chooses to work through human hearts and hands that are surrendered to Him so He can receive the glory for how He answers our prayers. God also wants us to interact with Him on issues that are close to His heart. Remember when God told Abraham He was going to destroy Sodom because of the wickedness in that city (Genesis 18:20-21)? God knew Abraham’s nephew, Lot, lived in that city. God wanted Abraham to discuss the situation with Him. Abraham could’ve said “Wow. Ok, God. I wish you wouldn’t because my nephew lives there, but I guess You’re going to do what You’re going to do.” If that was Abraham’s response, we wouldn’t have that wonderful story of Abraham questioning and practically negotiating with God over how many righteous people God might find in Sodom before reconsidering His judgment. God still destroyed Sodom, (because He found less than 10 righteous people in the whole city), but not before making arrangements to get Lot and his family out of the city. Lot’s rescue wasn’t even a particular request of Abraham’s. But God saw Abraham’s heart and motives in his questioning (Genesis 18:20-19:29). God knows your heart, too. And He wants you to interact with Him on what He wants to do. He wants you to let Him speak to you about what He wants you to do. And He wants you to stand amazed in the aftermath of what He does as a result of your prayers.
Which of these reasons compels YOU to keep praying? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.
September 10, 2019
on If God Knows it All, Why Bother Praying?.
Yes….. have had those thoughts about why pray because it will be His will….our 42 year old daughter died from brain cancer leaving 2 children 7 and 10 and her husband…. Prayers all over the world for her…..Mass every day. ROASARY.. 2 OR MORE GATHERED TOGETHER.. LIT CANDLES….PRAYED. PRAYED PRAYED… NO UNDERSTANDING….JUST HAVE TO TRUST AND KNOW WILL BE WITH HER AGAIN…..TEARS AND PAIN….HAVE TO THANK HIM FOR ALL OTHER BLESSINGS.. HOLY SPIRIT STAY WITH US
I’m sorry, Barbara, for your loss. I know God heard those prayers but sometimes we don’t understand why He chooses to answer in the way He does. But, we know He is loving and good and I’m encouraged to know that you are holding fast to Him throughout the pain and loss. That is faith — trusting Him even when we don’t understand but knowing that He knows what He’s doing. Praying for your continued comfort while you are apart from your precious daughter.
so true! so painful! Continue trusting in the Lord and talking to him!
In this season if my life there is no one else who will always be walking with you in this life time, But God! There is always a season in your life , But God is standing beside you. Season come and season go, But God is holding you.
THIS IS SO INSPIRING TO ME AS SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE MY PRAYERS JUST AREN’T. BEING HEARD, BUT THEY ARE.
YOUR DEVOTION INSPIRES ME TP KEEP PRAYING AND IN HIS TIMING HE WILL ANSWER.
THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!
You’re welcome, Rosa. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I Amos from Saudi Arabia, really it is very powerful, encouraged message for praying.
God bless you and your ministry.
hoping to receive such teaching.
Thank you for reading and leaving your comment, Amos.
This is a timely message .Thank You Ma
You’re welcome. 🙂
Prayer brings me peace, comfort and closeness to God. I can see changes already that he is doing in me, through me and on me. It is such a comforting and joyous feeling with this new found perspective that I never had before. All through being faithful with praying everyday. It is true that God remains the same and that prayer changes us! I am experiencing this now. What a joyful change and work he is doing in me. I am thankful to God for changing me.
What a joy and encouragement it was to me to read your response, Melissa. Keep that fervor for the Lord and that desire to be in His presence. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you (James 4:8).
This was an encouragement and challenging as well. The second one, “Prayer makes us obedient” especially spoke to me. Thank you for this post.
You’re welcome, Carla. Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. Blessings.
Thanks for the encouraging message especially “Prayer allows a conduit for God’s work and glory” I needed this today. There is Power in Prayer and I Pray that I can see this everyday rather than when things are not going well, “this is my struggle”.
Thanks for your thoughtful response.
cindi, i agree with all 6 points, my wife divorced me this past december and through prayer, continual prayer, is the only reason i have not slept in my death. only through prayer have i been able to make it, power from the holy spirit keeps me and will continue to do so, yes it is hard, very hard but i will NOT quit, i will persevere through prayer,
I am sorry for your pain, Robert. But I’m encouraged to hear that you are taking your hurt, disappointment, and heartache to God in prayer. He is the Only One who can heal deep hurts and make us whole.
This reading was really interesting to me. I have a problem praying to God. I would love to learn how to pray to God. I try and try but most of the time I just don’t know what to say. I try on a daily basis to talk to God. Hopefully some day I will get it right.
I also want to let you know Cindi, that you are a blessing in disguise. I love reading all of your recordings. You help me spiritually each and every week when I read what you write to us. Thank You so much for always being there for us.
Thank you, Jody, for your sweet, encouraging words. My book, “Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs” includes chapters called “Approaching Him with Confidence,” “Making Him Your Best Friend,” and “Listening to His Loving Voice” and are all aimed at helping you grow in a more intimate relationship with God to where you can pray easily and without worrying about what to say. 🙂 My small devotional “God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart” might also be helpful to you because it includes short prayers based on Scripture that will help you learn to pray. Thanks again for sharing your heart.
Prayer is talking to God. How can we have a relationship with each other if we do not talk to each other? Simply talk to God as you would to your close friend. If you are mad, just talk it over with Him. If you are happy just tell Him. I often say such simple things like: Thank you for the sunshine. Your sky is so beautiful and the sunset is beautiful. Thank you for the sun, the beauty of the sky, and the trees . Thank you for the beauty of the mountains. Your children are so beautiful. Thank you for the rain, and the cool breeze today. Then I can go on to other things.
I do not understand why…. I feel mad because…. The words just come as if I am talking to someone I know well and trust.
I read on a Christian website that the majority of our prayers are selfish prayers, all about what we need and want. And it also said, that talking to God just all through the day wasn’t the same as praying. I realized how much it was true and I had fallen so short because yes, my prayers can be for other people but I ask God for my needs to be met more. But you say God should be our best friend and that would mean , we talk to him about everything, our sins, our sickness, our every aspect of life, am I praying wrong and will he hear my selfish prayers. I also thank him and give him the glory for helping me with my selfish prayers.
ButI still feel confusion . Thank you , Meg
HI Meg, thanks for your comment. I can understand your confusion with all there is out there online about how to pray, what to pray for, and so on. Think of it like this. God wants a relationship with us. In a healthy, intimate relationship, we not only share with the other person all that is on our hearts, all that is going on in our day and talk with them throughout the day, but we also take time to have the real in-depth talks — focused prayer about how the relationship is going, what God wants to see in our lives, listening to Him (instead of doing all the talking). So, I believe the answer is having a LIFE of prayer…not just certain times of the day, but keeping the communication open with Him, but also setting aside to have alone time with Him in which we listen to what He is saying to us (through His Word, through circumstances in our lives, through silent prayer, and through His ‘whispers’ on our hearts) and taking the time to tell Him, in secret, all that is on our hearts. (He knows it anyway, but by telling Him, we are reinforcing to Him and to us that He is the single most important love in our lives.) I hope that helps.