The Bible advises believers to pray, but why? What’s the point of prayer?
Before I was a believer, I questioned why God wanted us to pray. He already knows everything, so why bother?
Now, I understand the benefits to prayer. Here are 7 purposes of prayer.
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What is prayer?
Prayer is communicating with God. It’s not complicated. It’s just as you would talk to a friend or family member. Of course, prayer should be done with reverence. You’re talking to the creator of the universe. Not just a friend.
If God knows everything, why pray? He already knows what you’re going through. He knows you completely. So, why pray?
I’ve heard this many times. I think it’s a valid question. First and foremost, prayer is required of those who follow Christ. Even Jesus prayed.
Let me tell you a personal story.
I had a desire to share the gospel with my friend. I knew I was going to be hanging out with him soon, so I prayed to God about it. I told him that if it were possible, if he could have it come up naturally in conversation. The next time I hung out with my friend, he asked me a faith related question. I didn’t even have to bring the topic up. It came up naturally, like I had asked.
What if I didn’t pray? Would that have happened? It might have. However, I was filled with joy when my prayer was answered. It built my relationship with God and he received the direct glory for answered prayer.
7 Purposes of Prayer
There are many reasons to pray, but here are 7 purposes of prayer.
#1 Prayer makes you more aware of God’s presence.
First, prayer makes you more aware of God’s presence. Prayer reminds you God is always there. It’s not that he wasn’t already there or working – he was. But you become more aware of this when you pray.
Like the example I shared above, answered prayer made me more aware of God in my life.
#2 Prayer builds your relationship with God.
Prayer builds your relationship with God. When you pray, you’re communicating with God just as you would a friend. How do you build relationships with others? Through communication. If you never spoke to your friends, I doubt you’d really be friends.
The same goes with God. If you talk to him, you’ll build your relationship with him.
#3 Prayer makes you more thankful.
Prayer makes you more thankful.
The Bible says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
God’s will is for us to be thankful. You can express thankfulness in prayer. Remembering to be thankful in prayer will make you a more thankful person. It’s been shown that listing a few things you’re thankful for everyday will elevate your mood and decrease depression.
#4 Prayer gives you answers.
Prayer gives you answers. You might be needing guidance in your life. You don’t know which path to take, what decision to make, etc.
Praying to God can give you answers for your life. God has a plan for your life and is in ultimate control. He’s the best person to go to for direction/solutions.
#5 Prayer gives you peace.
When you pray consistently, you start to feel peace in your life. That’s because prayer is essentially releasing control to God. By praying, you’re admitting you don’t have control over your life. Instead, you’re surrendering control to God.
Surrendering control to God is wise. He knows what’s best for you, so you don’t have to worry. That’s why prayer gives you peace.
#6 Prayer glorifies God.
Prayer glorifies God. Jesus prayed to the Father and this pleased him. When you pray, you’re aligning yourself with God’s will. This glorifies God.
Here’s an example of Jesus praying to the Father before he dies on the cross:
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:38 ESV).
Jesus prays this prayer three times. It’s short and to the point. Jesus lets the Father know what he wants – he doesn’t want to bear this burden. However, in the end, he says “your will be done”. This kind of prayer glorifies God.
It’s okay to allow your requests to be known to God. But in the end, you should surrender yourself to God’s will.
#7 Prayer changes you.
Finally, prayer changes you. When you pray consistently, you’re in constant communication with God. You begin to see him working in your life and that changes you. You become more confident in your identity as a follower of Christ.
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