26 January 2011

Why Do We (Still) Pray?

Psalm 115: 16 (NLT)
The heavens belong to the LORD,
but he has given the earth to all humanity.
This question came about from a statement made that "God does not respond to our needs but to our faith in Him".

It is my hope that the following postings might bring some insight to the question or at the very least, to cause you to raise your own questions and pursuit in His Word.

Nevertheless, I believe that any attempt to answer this question will greatly assist us to understand the importance of prayer and why we should pray.

So now, have you ever wondered why do we still need to pray? After all, the Bible says that God already knows what you need or want, even before you ask.

Matthew 6:32-33 (NLT)
32 Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

Psalm 44:21 (NLT)
21 God would surely have known it,
for he knows the secrets of every heart.
Yet there are many evidences in the Bible that prayers are still required and still being done even when the answer is already made known by God.

One example is in 1 Kings 18:1. God already told Elijah that He will send rain on the land, yet in 1 King 18:41-45, you find Elijah praying fervently for rain.

Another example is Jesus. He already knew His purpose on earth, yet you see Him often in the early hours of the morning (Mark 1:35, Luke 4:42) at an orchard, wilderness or a quite place praying. Jesus the Son of God, still prays! (Matthew 11:25-30, Matthew 26:36-46). The reason He give is so that He can do what He sees His Father do (John 5:19) ....that is another way of saying, I seek my Father's counsel and to ask "What do I do next?"

Even in the very passage where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray; The Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1-12), the infamous principle of prayer ASK is enshrined - Ask, Seek, Knock.

Luke 11:9-10 (NLT)
9 "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
Jesus not only teaches this disciples how to pray, He expects them to pray (Matthew 6:5, 7) and fast (Matthew 6:16). In these scripture verses the key word is "When you pray/fast ..."

But perhaps the answer to the question "Why do we still pray?" is in Psalm 115:16.
Psalm 115: 16 (NLT)
The heavens belong to the LORD,
but he has given the earth to all humanity.
The Lord has delegated authority over the earth to men, which is why He will not do things on earth until we ask Him to. This is also why Jesus became a Man to become the Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) for man, which is why He always referred to Himself as the Son of Man. He is the Son of God too, but He became a man to recover what man had lost.

This is why we still pray and to do so in His name.

John 14:13-14 (NLT)
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!
Becoming the image and likeness of Jesus is a process and a partnership with the Holy Spirit. The process includes our life's circumstances and spiritual practices. The act of praying helps us meet those life's circumstances with faith.

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