Why Should We Pray?

June 3, 2019
Why Should We Pray?

Matthew 6:5-8 
5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

If God already knows what we need, then why should we pray? Note that “you” is plural in vv5, 7 but changes to singular in v6 to highlight the need for personal prayer. Also note that Jesus does not say "if" you pray but "when" you pray. He expects us to pray and even to do it privately on a regular basis. The following are more biblical and practical reasons of why we pray:

(1) Prayer is communication with God. It is our continuing and growing relationship with Him. Morris reminds us that prayer is “not to inform the Father on matters of which he is ignorant, but to worship him.”

(2) Prayer is trust in God (1 Thess 5:17). When we pray, we are declaring our faith in God and dependence upon Him for our every need. That is why the apostle can instruct us to pray without ceasing. He means that we are to constantly trust God and voice that trust to Him in prayer.

(3) Prayer is spiritual warfare as we set our focus single-mindedly on the Lord (Eph 6:10-18; Matt 26:41). In prayer, we think of God, His Word, the Gospel, others, our own sins, the battle we want to fight against the enemy. We call on God to empower and even change us by His Spirit, and we claim His promises from the Scriptures.

(3) “The Bible assumes that people will pray to their God, since they are dependent upon Him for everything (our sin makes prayer even more of a necessity)” (Carpenter and Comfort) {Heb 4:16 obtain mercy and find grace}.

(4) The Lord is often waiting for someone to stand in the gap (Ezek 22:30 I waited for someone to stand in the gap). The Lord wants us to partner with Him in life and ministry. He intends to accomplish His purposes but has sovereignly chosen to include our prayers in those plans. He is ready and willing to 

(5) We pray because we know that the end of time is near (1 Pet 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers).

(6) Prayer is obedience to God. He has commanded us from Old Testament to New Testament, from Jesus Himself to His witnesses after Him to pray, and even to do it continually. In this way, it is a spiritual discipline that brings about change in our own lives. As we continue to give ourselves over to prayer, we give ourselves over to God and His care and His working in and through us. We are changed from one degree of glory to another, we mature in Christ as our character grows more and more holy and godly, as we pray.

(7) “[P]rayer is not simply desirable but necessary” (Morris).