Why do we pray?
We can’t live any longer than just a few short minutes without breathing. When we think about someone who has asthma, who has difficulties breathing, their condition can affect their entire body. They might get sharp pains in their chest and have difficulties speaking when they have an attack. Breathing goes almost unnoticed by us on a daily basis, yet it is crucial for survival. Being able to breathe makes us so light and happy and it enables us to be active.
For a believer, prayer is, or should be, like breathing, you can say. Prayer is the lungs of a wholehearted, believing Christian. Without praying we can’t have faith living in us. Prayer makes us happy, it makes us active and it makes things light and easy for us in daily life when we are in that presence, in that closeness in prayer with God. Actually, we can’t live without being in the spirit of prayer, that daily contact with God. That is how we get help, strength and answers to the big and small situations of life. (Hebrews 4:16)
Also read: How is it possible to pray without ceasing?
Why do we pray?
We do not know what we should pray for, but we sense that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us and prays for us and makes things more living for us. (Romans 8:26-27) This helps us to turn to Him even more, and we enter into a good spirit of prayer, which accomplishes all things in our lives.
Prayer is very closely tied to the ministry of the word: “… but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4. Prayer first, and then the ministry of the word. We can put it this way: It is prayer that gives power to be able to carry out the ministry of the word. Without an inner prayer to God, and being in the spirit of prayer, we don’t have that power within us that enables us to give nourishment and help through the Word.
Praying has the effect that we move God’s hands. If we pray for someone in Africa, God’s hands move over to Africa and He works in those whom we are praying for. Prayer gives us a mighty extended reach, so that we can be active all around the world from where we are.
Also read: Prayer: A powerful secret weapon
Paul had the daily concerns of, tasks that were laid upon him. (2 Corinthians 11:28) Those were prayers, which he made use of on a daily basis. He used ample time to think about the others and to pray for them. He prayed for the churches. He sensed and knew their strengths and weaknesses and he prayed for them, so that God could intervene. This also applies when someone has sinned, but not leading to death, as it’s written in 1 John 5:16. Then we should pray, and then God will give them life.
Prayer is an incredible, hidden and glorious ministry. God gives life to others through our prayers and that in turn brings forth an incredible thankfulness to God. Prayer has the effect that we are constantly in a state of thanksgiving. (Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2)
“‘Prove Me now,’ we hear Him gently calling;
Blest are they who take Him at His Word.
Though all others may leave you or neglect you,
Yet by Him each sigh will still be heard.
In the heart that feels its need and sorrow,
He creates with Words so wonderful.
If you place your life into His keeping,
He will open heaven over your soul.”
Excerpt from the songbook Ways of the Lord #295
Written by Laurentze Mørch
This article is inspired by a talk by Kaare J. Smith on 25th September 2018.
You may be interested in reading more on our topic page about Prayer, or in the articles below.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.