DEVOTIONAL READING

Since God Knows Everything, Why Should We Pray?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything,
by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving , let your requests be made
known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
Prayer is our greatest Christian privilege but — we may as
well admit — our greatest Christian failure. All of us need
to learn to pray more and to pray better. But one of the
reasons we don’t pray better than we do, or any more than
we do, is that we have questions about prayer. These
questions cause us uncertainty. Then our uncertainty
sometimes neutralizes us and we become hesitant about
prayer.
We will look more closely in the coming weeks about the
vital subject of prayer. As we begin this new year, what
more important commitment could we make than to
commit ourselves more to prayer? If we’re going to
impact our families, our nation, and our world in these
critical days, prayer is where it begins.
What was the first thing the Early Church did after Jesus’
ascension? “They returned to Jerusalem…to an upper
room” and “continued with one accord in prayer and
supplication…” ( Acts 1:12-14 ).
Even a casual reading of the book of Acts confirms how
totally the disciples depended upon prayer — how they
dared not make a move without committing to prayer,
seeking God for His guidance and deliverance through
prayer.
“And they continued steadfastly in the
apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers” ( Acts
2:42 ).
“Now Peter and John went up together
into the temple at the hour of
prayer…” ( Acts 3:1 ).
“But we will give ourselves continually to
prayer…” ( Acts 6:4 ). “…prayer was made
without ceasing of the church unto
God…” ( Acts 12:5 ).
If those who walked alongside our Lord for three years
were dependent upon prayer, how much more so are we?
What a grave mistake we make if we are casual about our
prayer life.
One of the questions most often asked about prayer is:
Why should we pray when God already knows our needs?
Why tell God what He already knows or ask Him to do
what He already wants to do?
Thank God we don’t have to understand prayer in order to
pray. Yet, there are some consistent valid questions
people have concerning prayer, but these must not hinder
us from relying upon it.
First, here are two reasons we don’t pray:
• We don’t pray to impress God. We’re not
heard for our “much-speaking.” You don’t
have to use poetic language or be an
amateur Shakespeare. If an earthly child
can speak to an earthly father, you can
speak to your Heavenly Father. We’re told
to cry out to Him as our “Abba” Father —
literally translated, “Daddy.” (Romans 8:15 ,
Galatians 4:6 ). We’re not praying to
impress Him.
• We don’t pray to inform God. You can’t
tell God anything He doesn’t know.
So if we don’t pray to impress or inform God, why then do
we pray?
We Pray to Invite God
It’s very important to understand this: we are inviting God
into our lives when we pray.
When we pray, we experience —
• Fellowship. We become “workers
together with Him” (2 Corinthians 6:1 ).
When we pray, God gives us the joy and
privilege of administrating His kingdom,
His affairs — working together with Him.
He could do it without us. We could not do
it without Him. But what a glory that God
allows us the privilege of doing it with Him!
• Development. When we pray, God is
growing us. Have you ever prayed and
didn’t receive immediately what you asked
for? What did you do? You kept on praying,
but you also began to search your heart
and life to see if something was hindering
God’s answer. Many times there is. God
uses prayer to grow us.
• Dependency. God never wants us to live
lives independent of Him. If God just did
everything for us and we never had to
pray, soon we would begin to take things
for granted. We would cease to depend
upon God.
Prayer Binds Us to God
That’s why we tell God what He already knows. He knows
what we have need of before we ask, but we’re definitely,
specifically, unqualifiedly told to pray and to ask — not to
impress or inform God, but to invite God, so that we might
have that fellowship with Him, so that we might grow, and
we would learn to depend upon Him.
What is it all right to pray for? Does God answer the
prayers of the unsaved? Next time, we’ll answer those
questions.

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