Ask & Your Shall Receive #3:
Why Do We Pray?

By | 2 Sep 2013
praying hands on Bible

Now that we’ve defined what prayer is and is not, let’s address the “why.” Why do we pray?

The Divine Imperative

First — and most importantly — we are commanded to pray. Among other verses along those lines, we read the following verses in two of Paul’s epistles:

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving…
Colossians 4:2 (emphasis mine)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (emphasis mine)

And since we are commanded to pray, prayerlessness on our part is indeed sin.

If you find yourself in this situation as you’re reading this, I’m not saying these things to shame you or to guilt you into praying — guilt and shame are terrible motivators and God never uses them. But I am trying to help you see there is something terribly amiss with your walk with God that needs correction. What I pray you do with this insight is repent, ask His forgiveness, and ask Him to help you correct this so you can have the vital prayer life the Bible portrays for all believers.

When we pray, we are:

  • Investing time in our love relationship with the One True God
  • Exercising our God-given authority over His earth and what happens in it, as well as over the powers of darkness.

Investing Time

No love relationship can grow and prosper without a time investment from both parties. Since The Almighty exists outside space and time, this is not a problematic demand upon Him because He has infinite time and ability. The challenge comes on our side of the equation because time is a finite resource requiring us to exercise stewardship over it.

Prayer is one of the best investments of your time and effort you will ever make because everything else you will ever do on this planet as a Christ-follower flows from this relationship and out of that activity!

Exercising Spiritual Authority

I’ve already covered in depth how we were given this authority in my article on spiritual authority here at Miscellaneous Ramblings, so I’m not going to repeat that information here. But if you are not familiar with the concept, you will definitely need to read that article.

Christ-followers who will boldly come to the throne of grace and plead the promises of God for our corrupt cesspit of a world are the ones who can arrest the plans and purposes of our enemy, the psychopath god of this world, Satan. This concept is exemplified in the Book of James:

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:6-7

How do we resist him? Through prayer, standing in the authority God has given us over him, his followers, and his works.

Effective Prayer is Based Upon an Accurate Knowledge of God & Ourselves

Our prayers must be founded upon an accurate revelation of Who He is, who we are, how He relates to us, and how He wants us to relate to Him. That means our knowledge of these things is rooted and grounded in the Word of God rather than what I call “man’s religion.” This is another subject I have covered in depth in my first article for this blog, so again I will refer you to it rather than repeating myself here.

The following lists summarize what the Bible says about those issues:

Who Is God?

  • Faithful: He can always be depended upon to keep His Word.
  • True: He never lies or promises something He will not do.
  • Loving: He cares for us beyond our ability to imagine.
  • Kind: He actively desires to help us
  • Generous: He is not stingy and assists us beyond the minimum needed to get by
  • Merciful: He does not hold our past mistakes against us as an excuse to not answer our prayers
  • Gracious: He extends infinite, unmerited favor towards us
  • Willing: He is actively desiring — and looking for ways — to help us
  • Available: He is always available at anytime of the day or night. He is never too busy and our concerns are never too insignificant for His attention
  • Fair: He keeps His promises to all his children, not just the ones we think of as over-achievers

Who Are We?

  • Beloved, not barely tolerated
  • Precious, valuable, and treasured, not worthless
  • Significant, not inconsequential or expendable
  • Safe, not threatened or endangered

How Are We Related?

  • We are the righteousness of God in Christ, spotless without blemish.
  • We are seated with Jesus in heavenly places.
  • We have been given authority over the powers of darkness.
  • We have been given authority over the power of sin.
  • We have been given everything that pertains to life and godliness.
  • We possess His exceedingly great and precious promises.
  • We have been adopted as sons and daughters of the King.
  • We can boldly come before the throne of grace to seek help in time of need.
  • Our inheritance is guaranteed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  • We have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ.
  • We are reconciled to God.
  • We have access by one Spirit to the Father.
  • We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints in the household of God.

Obviously, these things are a whole different animal than what we find in man’s religion.

So that is why we pray. Next, well get into the issue of God’s will.

Thanks for reading!