Why do you pray? What are you seeking when you take time to pray? Many people go to God in prayer like they go to Santa Claus at Christmas time. They bring their list of things they want and they ask Him to provide. They don’t stick around to listen to Him or just hang out with Him. George Bernard Shaw said, “Most people do not pray; they only beg.”
Many people create a prayer list like a grocery list. They pull it out and run down the list and mark things off after they’ve prayed for them and then they put their list away and forget about it. A lot of people only pray for special occasions….meals, bedtime and maybe when they’re at church, but that’s it. Graham Dienert said “Many people pray as if God were a big aspirin pill; they come only when they hurt.”
With all of these different ways people approach prayer, I can’t help but wonder why God wants us to pray. So, I asked Him. “Lord, why do you want us to pray?” As usual, He sent me to His Word. Many times we ask God things and get mad because we feel like He hasn’t answered us, when in fact, He answered us in His Word before we asked and is waiting for us to find it.
John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” One of the main ways God speaks to us is through His Word. The more you know His Word, the more you know what He has to say. You can also use your knowledge of the Word to make certain it is God you’re hearing from.
Jesus told the parable about the Shepherd and the sheep who know His voice [John 10:27]. The way we know the voice of God is by knowing His Word. R. Sibbes said “When we go to God by prayer, the devil knows we go to fetch strength against him so he opposes us all he can.” One way he opposes us is by trying to mislead us. If we aren’t familiar with the voice of God, then we might follow the wrong shepherd by mistake.
When I dove into the Word to see why God wants us to pray, the answer wasn’t hard to find. God is a relational God. He created us for relationship with Him and with others. God created us in His image [Genesis 1:26]. And He created us to be in relationship with Him just as He is in relationship with the Father [John 17:21].
When asked, what did He say the greatest commandment was? Look in Matthew 22 starting at verse 36 and read through verse 38. Then He follows this with verse 39…the golden rule….love your neighbor as yourself. RELATIONSHIP!
Prayer is our opportunity to build, grow and strengthen our relationship with our Lord and Savior. He doesn’t want to be a super hero who rushes in and saves the day and rushes out again; someone we wear around on a t-shirt and dress up as for Halloween. Jesus wants us to have intimacy with Him. He knows every intricate detail about us. Nothing takes Him by surprise. There is nothing about you He doesn’t already know. Hebrews 4:13 says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” The enemy would love to use that knowledge to bring us under shame so we wouldn’t dare go to God. We need to realize what he means for evil, God will work together for good [Romans 8:28]. If God already knows everything about you, then nothing should keep you from Him. John Bunyan said “Pray often; for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourage for Satan.”
Find a quiet place, get comfortable, and strike up a conversation with your Father. He’s been dying to talk with you. There’s so much He has to say to you; but more than that, He simply wants to spend time with you. Will you meet with Him?