What is Prayer and Why Should We Pray?
What exactly is prayer and why should you do it anyways? Is it just for those people who don’t have any friends because they think they are too holy to interact with others, or is it for the rest of us as well? Prayer is simply talking with God. When God created us, he made us with the ability to do something amazing, by actually being able to talk personally with him.
Since God knows everything, or is omniscient, praying to him is not getting him up to speed but for us to express our dependence and trust in him. It is an opportunity for us to have an actual relationship by talking to him just as you would talk to a friend. And because God ultimately orchestrates events in the world, we have an opportunity to be involved in things that are eternally significant, such as when you pray that your neighbor or friend would come to know Jesus and become a Christian.
God knows exactly what is best for us, and most times prayer is not trying to get God to change the way that things play out, but for us to become in alignment with his will. Usually he already has something great in store for us that we don’t even have a clue about and we just need to spend the time praying and submitting to what exactly he is doing in our lives. But on the flip side, by praying, God actually responds and even changes the way that he was going to act before you prayed to him. This is crazy! I mean God, who is in control of everything, not only wants to be in communion with us but even changes the way things play out just because we ask for it. James 4.2 says that, “we do not have, because we do not ask.”
Now this is really crazy, but stay with me. The Bible portrays that God is in control of everything and already knows what is going to happen through out all of history. Then if this is the case, and everything is set in stone, why even pray? Well we have to look at passages where God does act in history and changes events because of prayer. What do we do with passages such as Amos, chapter 7, where God was going to do something and simply because Amos prayed, something completely different happened?
Well, because God is omniscient, meaning he knows everything, he even planned that Amos would pray that God would change the way he acted long before Amos even thought about praying. This is one of the tensions found within the Bible, on one hand God knows exactly what will happen in the future, but on the other hand he also uses our prayers to change things.
That is so awesome!… the fact that not only can we talk to God but that he actually enjoys communicating with us. This is all because of the work that Jesus did while he was here on this Earth. The only way that we can pray to God and he hears us is because right now, if you are a Christian, the Bible says that Jesus is intermediating for us and advocating for the prayers that we pray to him. So if you are a Christian, take some time to pray and thank God for the opportunity to talk to our Creator and Friend whenever we wish.