Why We Pray

The answer might surprise you!

Many of us fall into the habit of treating God like a genie in a bottle — as if our prayers are wishes we hope he will grant. Then when we don’t get the answer we want, we get confused, upset or even angry. Finally in our disappointment we declare that prayer doesn’t work and is a waste of time and energy!

But what if our prayers were never meant to “work”? What if our approach to prayer is all wrong? We want to help you explore what prayer is — and what it isn’t — by looking at some of the ways we treat prayer: as a quick fix, a last resort and more. And as we explore how God designed prayer and modeled it for us through Jesus, we can together understand how to better approach this conversation with a holy and loving God.

Read Excerpt

To get you started, here’s an excerpt from a resource we designed, “Why Doesn’t Prayer Work?” Then explore some answers to questions about prayer and how the Bible teaches us about the significance and role of prayer.

Why We Pray

God responds to the prayers of his people.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. — James 5:16b (NLT)

It is through prayer that his work is accomplished on earth. The apostle Paul continually asked for prayer in his missionary endeavors and saw prayer as vital to his success.

God reveals himself to us through prayer.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. — Psalm 143:10 (NLT)

We learn more and more about his character and how his perfect will is working itself out in our own life. Deepening our understanding of God also deepens our faith and desire to worship.

God imparts understanding through prayer.

If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. — James 1:5 (NLT)

As we become increasingly aware of our limitations, we can rest in the knowledge that our God is omniscient. Availing ourselves of God’s counsel is a blessing of prayer.

God gives us his power to resist temptation.

Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak! — Matthew 26:41 (NLT)

With prayer, you always have a proven shield of protection available. Just say the word. God extends his power to us through prayer so that we may resist temptation.

God does the impossible through prayer.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. — Matthew 21:22 (NLT)

Our hearts pound with great confidence as we take mighty tasks to our exceedingly mighty Lord. He exercises his authority and ability to do the impossible through the prayers of his people.

God invites us to bring our burdens to him.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

We have a Heavenly Father who is more than able to bring victory to any challenge we face. God is a spiritual and physical healer. Like any healthy relationship, we must keep a line of communication open.

God commands us to pray.

In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. — Jeremiah 29:12,13 (NLT)

God wants to be in relationship with us. And he knows we need what he can give. Through prayer, we experience life-transforming, life-renewing intimacy with the Creator of the universe.