By Ellery Sadler
Prayer is a union of your soul with God's heart. It doesn't need to be complicated or fancy - it's simply a conversation with Him. Sometimes it can be frustrating though and the guidelines either seem too rigid or nearly non-existent. Exactly why should we pray? And when we do, how do we know that God hears us?
This is not a complete list of the purposes of prayer, but here are a few of the main reasons we are called to pray.
1. Seeking God’s Face
“Seek the Lord your God with all your heart, and you will find Him.” Deuteronomy 4:29
One of the most incredible gifts of prayer is seeing the face of God. It’s the desire to know Him – His heart and His nature and His will. Sometimes we short-change our prayers and fill them with just our words, when one of the best things to do is to listen. God is speaking. His voice is a quiet whisper on the wind and if we are too busy talking, sometimes we miss it. So take a few minutes to sit before the throne of grace in silence, listening for His voice, seeking His face.
2. Renewing Your Strength
“Look to the Lord & His strength. Seek His face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
In the chaos of life, there is only one place that promises perfect peace: at the feet of Jesus. When we look to the Lord and His strength, He fills us with His spirit. In our weakness, we realize how desperately we need His strength. Prayer is the place where our spirit is renewed.
3. Changing Circumstances
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
“Is anyone among you troubled? Let him pray. Is anyone among you happy? Let him sing praises.” James 5:13
Through prayer, we have the power in Jesus to bring change. Intercessory prayer (which we talked about in greater depth in a recent live stream on our Facebook page) is one of the reasons we are called to pray. The Bible exhorts us to pray for non-believers, for family members, for the church, and even for our enemies. God works through our prayers. (See also Psalm 107:28-30.)
4. Healing & Transformation
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wickedness, I will hear them from heaven and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Another reason we are called to pray is for healing and transformation. Through prayer, we can seek and believe in God for healing, both physical and emotional. God’s power to transform us is unleashed in prayer. He changes our hearts and our perspectives and molds us into His image. Spending time in His presence is the lifeblood of faith. Don’t underestimate the power of His presence. Prayer is the gateway to knowing the Father and letting Him heal your heart.
“Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
Prayer, since it draws us closer to God, is also a protection against temptation and sin. The closer we are to Jesus, the further we are from sin. While the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak - so make sure to saturate your soul with the Word of God.
“Exalt the Lord your God and worship Him, for He is holy.” Psalm 99:5
Worship is unabashed adoration of God. Some worship through song, some through silence, some through poetry. Worship is an outpouring of thanksgiving and praise to a worthy, holy God. It is also a battleground. The enemy hates nothing more than the prayer and worship of God’s children for their Savior – so realize that when you worship God, you are tearing down the work of the enemy. Worship Him with gladness! You are renewing your strength. You are seeking God’s face. You will find healing and transformation. You are bringing change. You are called to worship Him.
These are just a few of the reasons we are called to pray. Why do you pray? Comment below & let us know!