We should not cease our prayers

There are some reasons why we should not cease our prayers.

To praise God

Prayer is worship. In prayer we celebrate God and our being His child. By doing so we not only please him, but we sharpen our attention to his goodness and care and mercy. God gives our lives meaning, purpose, and direction, and he provides that good will come from every event of our lives, no matter how hard our follies drive us in the other direction.

To draw near to God

Prayer honors God, for in it we acknowledge that he is our Lord and we are his servants. We should therefore pray regularly. Prayer also strengthens our bond to God. The more we think about him, talk to him, enter into his presence, the closer to him we will be.

If you remember that God is our friend, then the question, Why should we pray? It is the same as, Why should we talk to our friend? Communication builds relationships. The same is true with our relationship with God. We need to spend time with our friends in order to preserve and build a relationship with them. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? – Deuteronomy 4:7

To show gratitude

We thank God for all he has done and continues to do. We remember that he is the source of all good things. Prayers of gratitude remind us of just how much we receive at his hands. We live in such a glut of material benefits that we are tempted to overlook just how much we have, how blessed we are.

We can have hundred piece orchestras play for us on command, full house heat and air conditioning with the flip of a switch, hot and cold water at the twist of a knob and it’s water that won’t give us cholera or even dysentery, either. Just two hundred years ago, not even kings could live like this.

To ask for help for ourselves

Since God already knows what we need, why ask him for anything? To show our dependence on God, to remind us of it, to make us recognize it. To ask for his direct intervention. Of the several hundred references to prayer in the Old and New Testaments, more than 90 percent of them refer to petitionary prayer, either personal or intercessory. To get some of God’s power on our side. We are powerless; he is all-powerful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

To ask for help for others

Intercessory prayer is at least as common as prayer asking God to help us. We reach out to God for the sake of others, perhaps others who cannot pray or will not pray. We ask for guidance and protection for loved ones, that the light of Truth might come to those who do not yet know God, and that God will continue to be sovereign in the movements of every event in the world.

To persuade God to act on our behalf

Ivan Turgenev rather cynically said that the purpose of most prayers is to ask God that two and two will not make four – in other words, we often pray for God to deliver us from the laws of physics, or from the natural consequences of our actions. However, there is Biblical authority for the fact that God can sometimes be persuaded to change our future.

Prayer can have an influence on God’s actions. Such a fact is both glorious and terrifying, and it should make us careful about how we pray. In other words, be careful what you pray for because God just might give it to you. Remember that movie where someone said, “I want the truth,” and the other guy said, “You can’t handle the truth”? Well, the same is true with prayer.

To seek guidance and direction

We need help in our lives and in our decision making. We need to seek God’s will and his approval for our plans. The ever increasing pace of life is largely constituted in an increase in the number of decisions we need to make. So we need God’s help more than ever.

Prayer allows us to submit our thinking to God and to allow his direction to steer us. The saying is, “We can see only in a straight line, but God can see around corners.” Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen. – Acts 1:24

To show God and ourselves (and emphasize) what we really care about

We need to pray to show what really matters to us. Clarify our priorities. This is an answer to those who ask, “Since God knows not only what we need already, but even all our thoughts, why should we pray at all?” Prayer forces us to sort out our real priorities and concerns; it shows God how fervent we are about the things around us.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” -Luke 18:1 Prayer often serves to remind us that we have an ally, a friend, a helper, when we are in danger of forgetting. God won’t forget our needs, but we may forget God’s deliverance, unless we pray.

For spiritual renewal

We pray for comfort and for emotional cleansing. Simply communing with God refreshes us as we remember the purpose and goal of our existence and as we remember that there is something-and someone-greater than our current difficulties. It is said that you can walk up to any stranger on the street and say, “I heard about your problem,” and the stranger will reply, “Who told you?”

Perhaps all of us have unsolvable problems in our lives or problems that appear to be hopeless. We are powerless in the face of many events. Only God can either conquer for us or enable us to endure the things we cannot change. There is another saying that we often pray, “God, remove this mountain from in front of me,” when we ought to be praying, “God, teach me to climb mountains.” Prayer is refreshing just as talking with a friend about a problem is refreshing, even if the problem is not resolved.

To confess sin

Sometimes it is necessary for us to admit to God that we have been foolish, disobedient, downright bad. He knows it, but we are to confess it.

So friends, please don’t cease our prayers. Read Why Should We Pray?