It’s hard to remember what the point is of praying at times. I’ve mentioned this recently, the struggle we face against our dark and sinful hearts that are completely logical. What’s the point in asking for something when if God wants you to have it, he’ll give it to you anyway? What’s the point in asking for things for other people when he’ll do what he wants whether or not we’re praying about it? Being raised in a christian household can really dull our senses to what the intentions behind our actions should be, and for new believers the overwhelming power of God and his plan can make it seem fruitless to bother with anything but a redemption prayer. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times with the logic of these arguments, but I hate accepting what I don’t like and I don’t like these arguments. So while I was trying to think of good reasons for prayer I decided to make it personal.I decided not to write about why we pray as a whole, but why I pray.
I believe God wants to hear from me, and prayer is part of our conversation.
Each person who has given themselves over to Christ Jesus has entered into a relationship with him, and when I’m in a relationship with anyone I like to keep in touch. I like to talk to them, to tell them about what’s going on, to listen to how they’re doing and what’s on their mind. Whether or not the Holy Spirit searches our souls to the core and God knows the desire of every heart and all that jazz, I still think that God would rather that I come and talk to him, get things out there and tell him about what’s on my mind, than not.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:15-16
It’s so comforting to have a talk with someone who has been through everything that everyone else has and yet has walked with no sin. And the best part is that he wants to help me do the same, walk in a way that is pleasing to him down a path he has planned for me. Aside from holding up my end of the continuing conversation that is our relationship, it’s a way of being humble before Christ. By coming to him with my every sinful thought through the day and giving over to him each little anxiety I sometimes find myself treating others with more grace and patience, and being less defensive about my own wrongdoings.
I believe that God has a plan, and sometimes his plan includes me praying.
There are far too many complications in life when it comes to God’s plan, but I do know that sometimes it just includes one person asking for something and it’s like the signal that sends an entire army to attack.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15
“According to his will”… so if we ask for something that he already wants to give us but hasn’t because we didn’t ask for it, that’s a big flaw in the theory of “God gives us what he wants when he wants”. And it’s not like we can’t ask for something ridiculous with no expectations; the word is full of stories in which regular people ask for miracles and are blown away by works of God, all because of prayer.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:16-18
I feel way better after praying.
Jesus said it perfectly in Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” My flesh, this body and this human nature, loves what is easy and what is wrong. It loves sinning. Sinning tastes really good, feels really good, looks really good. But it leads to a life I don’t want, and I am not strong enough on my own to back away from everything. When I am weak, I know that the only strength I will find is in the word and in prayer, because talking to Jesus makes me feel a little more stable and secure. Reading the word reminds me that my identity is not one that I make for myself but one found in him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
I am more than happy that the peace of God is over my head, figuratively and literally speaking. I would much rather rest in his peace and know that it’s bigger and greater than I can comprehend than know more than I do. The difference between when I pray and when I don’t is like this: If I’m staying at my parent’s house in Maine and my dad isn’t home, I don’t sleep well. I don’t feel as safe. I check the locks repeatedly and stress over nothing. But when he is home, I don’t worry about anything like that. I know that he keeps the house secure and that he would never let anything happen to us. So when prayer gives me a peace that guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus, it’s like knowing for sure that dad is home and taken care of the safety of the house. Although I don’t think that God would snipe the best tv in the house to watch sports.