“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NLT)
Since I never know who will be reading these posts, I can’t assume to know whether or not you pray; however, some who have responded to my posts have indicated that they’re seeking to know the Lord, thus, hopefully, do pray regularly and as a matter of habit.
Prayer works in much the same way as conversation with another human being. It gives understanding, builds relationship, opens our heart and mind to one another, and creates common ground. Certainly, the focus of prayer, as the focus of any conversation, depends largely on the depth of the relationship.
Why we pray often depends somewhat on our needs on any given day; however, prayer to a believer should be as natural as breathing. We don’t pray because we need SOME-THING, we pray because we need SOME-ONE! That’s a critical difference between speaking with God and speaking with another human being.
Our dependence shouldn’t be and, on many levels, CAN’T be on another human being. As believers in Jesus, our dependence is upon Him alone. He is our sustainer and provider. He may use jobs or other means, but ultimately, He has engineered circumstances in our lives to create a means of giving us what we need to be all He desires us to be.
That’s one of the reasons we shouldn’t fret when we don’t get that “perfect” job or lose a relationship we really wanted. There are multiple reasons we need to trust the Lord without reservation, most of which we wouldn’t or couldn’t understand even if He tried to explain them to us.
Prayer is our lifeline, especially when we realize the Lord cares about every detail of our life. As we age, we have the proverbial “aches and pains” for which we take aspirin or ibuprofen, and I don’t always lift those to Him. But what I am quick to lift to Him are symptoms I don’t normally have. Anything out of the ordinary I want to check in with Him first.
That’s especially true with my spiritual health. There are times I feel, for lack of a better term, “weird.” I have wrestled with depression for many years, so I seek to be alert to my mood swings. We’re all different and there are things that can alert us to a spiritual, relational, emotional, or physical issue for which we should seek the Lord. But why?
We pray, fundamentally, to seek God’s will and direction for our life; but that process is affected by virtually every avenue of our lives. If I’m “off” physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, or in any other area of my life, my walk with the Lord can be hindered. And, yes, of course, we pray for others and their needs, but the principle is still applicable.
We pray because we NEED to pray, not necessarily because we FEEL like praying. Right feelings follow right actions. If we do the right thing, we’ll feel the right way about it. There are mornings I pray, not because I want to pray or feel like praying, but because I know it’s the right thing to do. I need God’s input and guidance, regardless of how I feel, especially if I don’t feel well.
God rewards us for our efforts to stay connected with Him, primarily by giving us more of Himself. That’s a reward worth working for.
Blessings, Ed 😊
2 thoughts on “Why Do You Pray?”
“Walking with Jesus” always seems to address my particular need for that day. The Lord is so wonderful!
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Yes, He is . . . and so are you! 🙂