Why Do You Pray?
Why do you pray? If you, or someone you loved were diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, you would pray. If your marriage was near collapse, you would pray. If you saw a serious accident on the highway, you would pray. If you were headed into a final exam without studying much, you would pray! Desperate people pray. Why? Because intuitively, we know that prayer matters!
But should we only pray when we are desperate? Jesus modeled a life committed to prayer. When He was grieved or in need or exhausted, Jesus prayed. When He faced threats and crisis, Jesus prayed. He was fueled by prayer and we can be too!
Throughout God’s Word, we are taught that prayer changes things! Prayer is never an exercise in futility. Prayer is never a waste of time. Prayer changes things! Some people make the mistake of thinking that their prayers are meaningless; that God doesn’t care what they think or what they are experiencing or what concerns them, but He absolutely does!
I remember my Old Testament professor in seminary saying, “God listens to our prayers; He considers our requests and God is willing to change God’s mind.” No doubt, God is absolutely in control. He makes final decisions and we accept His will; but He is willing to hear from us. In fact, He wants to hear from us!
Sick people can be healed because of our prayers. Troubled marriages can be reconciled because of our prayers. Wayward hearts can be yielded to Christ as Savior because of our prayers. Lost children can find their way home because of our prayers. We pray because prayer matters. We pray because prayer changes things.
Jesus’ disciples often witnessed Jesus praying. They were very aware of Jesus’ spending much time praying. He modeled a life committed to prayer to the Father.
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16
Challenge: Commit to the practice of praying! If you are committed to the practice of praying, then let’s look to God’s Word to answer a few simple questions… When do I pray, where do I pray and what do I pray?
When do you pray? Find a time to pray daily when you are at your best. Why? Because God deserves your very best. Jesus often prayed in the morning. 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35. When is your best time to pray?
Commit to start praying 5-10 minutes every day. That may not sound like much, but it is important to establish a daily, focused time of prayer time that you will actually do. You can always grow that time as you develop the practice of praying.
Pray when you are prompted too. You don’t have to limit your prayer time to short window. There will be times in the course of your day when you will be prompted to pray by circumstances, a special request, or even the urging of the Holy Spirit when something or someone comes to mind. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Where do you pray? Find a solitary place to pray without distractions. Why? Because we are easily distracted! We need a place of solitude. 35 …Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35b. Be intentional about removing distractions (smart phone), focusing your mind and clearing your thoughts so that we can be fully present when you’re praying.
What do you pray? Pray about what is on your heart and mind. In HIs model prayer (The Lord’s Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus offers us a perfect prayer outline for what He knew would be on our hearts and minds…. offering God the worship He is due, seeking His will for our lives, asking for daily provisions, longing for His forgiveness, and pleading for His protection against sin and evil.
I hope you will adopt, or grow deeper, in the “best practice” of praying in 2021! For much more, click here to watch Best Practice - Part 2 - The Practice of Praying.