The really simple answer to “Why should we pray?” Is because God said so. Over and over again Scripture encourages us to spend time in prayer.
Take a few moments and write out these verses.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
1 Chronicles 16:11
What words stand out to you from these verses? Go ahead and look them up in your concordance. There just might be a richer meaning there than you’ve ever considered.
Somehow, though, just being told to do it doesn’t always make it the easiest thing in the world, does it? I don’t think I’m alone here – prayer can be hard! Prayer is our way of communicating with God. But, like any other relationship, when we don’t communicate, things get awkward. Instead of fostering deeper intimacy with God, we get locked in a quick “wish list” sort of routine. We ask for the things we think we need when life gets tough, and we kinda, sorta, maybe hope He’s going to come through. The things we hope for don’t always happen and that makes us want to communicate even less. It’s this awful spiral that ends up making us frustrated, unsatisfied, and bored in our Christian life. It’s good to know that there are benefits for us in prayer, too. And not just the benefit of God doing what we ask. (Although I fully admit, I really want God to do the things I ask for in prayer.)
We can pray with hope because God promises to hear us.
Psalm 102:17 He will ___________ to the prayer of the ____________; he will not despise their plea.
Psalm 17:6 I call upon you, for ______________________________________________________, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
1 John 5:14 This is the _________________ we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to ________ __________, he hears us.
Which of these verses do you connect with the most? Take a moment and write out your thoughts. It’s okay if those thoughts are questions or even disbelief. God is big enough to handle your doubts. If that verse bolsters your faith, write a quick prayer of thanks!
Not only does He promise to hear us, He sent the Holy Spirit to help us.
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
See? It’s okay to not know what to pray. You don’t have to worry about having the right form or words. You don’t have to be afraid. Just seek God and let the Holy Spirit help you.
Write out Isaiah 41:10 and keep it with you today. If you don’t know this one by heart, read it daily until you have it memorized.
On Thursday we’re going to talk about some of our hang ups about prayer. Until then, just talk to Him. God loves you and wants to hear your voice. You don’t have to worry about it being perfect or even good. Just talk. And listen. You just might be surprised by what He has to say.