Sep 22, 2023 Why Pray? – Words of Grace – September 22, 2023
If you have taken prayer seriously and given significant time to pray about the concerns of life and God’s work in your life, then you have likely asked yourself, “Why am I praying?”
That question is not theoretical in nature. You are not asking about the theology of prayer or preparing to teach on prayer when the question comes to your mind. This is the question of a Christian when praying about an important matter, asking for a significant request, and it seems to lead nowhere and result in nothing.
Praying without seeing the impact of our prayers can be greatly discouraging to our faith. Ironically, it takes great faith to continue in prayer without tangible evidence that it’s working.
I have prayed for months, even years, about issues and concerns that didn’t seem to be resolved. I have asked specifically for things that seemed to be according to God’s will that I have not (to date) received. So, I’ve asked myself why I pray. Why do I wake early in the mornings and pray through the Psalms? Why do I take prayer walks? Why do we pray at Grace Community Church on Sundays and in small groups throughout the week? The question is asked for the most practical reason, to help me decide if I should keep praying.
I am still praying. Let me tell you why.
I pray because God exists. Since the eternal God created and governs the world the most reasonable place to turn to understand, respond to, and make requests about all things in this world is to him. It’s that simple. God is, so I pray.
I pray because God works in the world. Like the reality of the existence of God, the fact that God works in the world is the witness of Scripture. From the first page to the last God is acting. All of history is his-story. Again, this makes turning to him and asking for his intervention in the things of life the most reasonable thing to do.
I pray because God has designed the world in such a way that he works through the prayers of his people.
Recently I read these words and found them to be both instructive (reminding me why I pray) and encouraging (keeping me in prayer).
“Grand and mysterious things are in operation. We are not alone. My prayers are perhaps a single note in a symphony, but a necessary note, for I believe in the communion of saints… Maybe there is a reader who is very weak and very lonely as he reads this today, tempted to feel that prayer is futile and goes nowhere. Think of the Unseen Company that watches and prays as we ‘run with perseverance the race marked out for us’ (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)! Think of that and be of good cheer- it’s much too soon to quit!” (1)
Brothers and sisters let’s remind ourselves why we pray so we will keep at it until our race is done.
(1) Elizabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart, Vine Books, 1995, page 190.