Why should we pray?

Published 8:39 am Monday, May 8, 2017

Since God Does Not Perform Miracles Today, Then Why Pray?
The question is a very good one in light of the fact that regardless of who we are, we should strive in every facet of our Christian lives to please God. There are multiple reasons why the child of God should pray. First and foremost, the serious Bible student understands that God commands us to pray. Paul said “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). However, the prayer that God demands is more than just a rule. As we consider our prayer life we should recognize that it is for our benefit. Prayer is the way that we communicate with our Heavenly Father and according to 1 Timothy 2:1-3; God wants us to address Him. Therefore, prayer plays an important role in our relationship with God.
Prayer fulfills God’s desire that we ask, seek and knock (Matt. 7:7-11). It is not that God does not know what we ask, but it is an opportunity to gain access to richer Christian life. So we should see prayer as a way of asking God for help in times of spiritual need (Eph. 1:3&7). Prayer can also be a proper avenue to ask God for the fulfillment of our physical needs (Matt. 6:11). Proper prayer is an act of faith. Yet we should not be fooled into thinking that our prayers are an acceptable substitute for prayer. Christians must ask in faith and make proper efforts on their part.
We should also know that prayer is not just thinking about our desires. It is a form of communication between humanity and the creator. And according to James it is a powerful tool in arsenal of the Christian.
(James 5:16 KJV) — Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The obvious question is how does God answer prayer? The Word of God teaches us that the day of the miraculous is past (1 Cor. 13:8-10). Therefore God does not use miracles to bring about His response to us. We learn in Matthew 6:27-33 the providential care of God as He provides for each of us in our daily lives. We can learn from the story of Esther that God sometime answers prayer without miraculous power but with providential care (Esther 4:13-14). By definition we understand that providence is something that is hidden and indirect. When writing to Philemon in regards to Onesimus, the runaway slave, Paul did not understand fully and therefore surmised that Onesimus may have left for a season only to return forever. This would seem to have been providential, but yet God did not force the events that transpired by way of miracle.
It is important to remember that God answers prayer. We must be patient as we wait on God’s answer to our prayers. Sometimes God delays the answer to our prayers (Luke 18:7). There are times that God keeps the answer from us as he did from Jesus in (Matt. 26:39-44). There are times in which God answers our prayers in excess. This was the case when Peter was in prison in Acts 12; in this case the prayers of the church were answered abundantly. Then there are times that the answer to our prayer is no; but God knows what is best for us in these cases. Certainly this was the case for the apostle Paul in (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ. To submit a question or for information, contact him at 423-737-2287 or email: CenterviewCOC@comcast.net)

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