- Religion and Philosophy
The Necessity of Prayer
Raised to be an intelligent, educated society, we are taught to solve our own problems. It’s expected by our managers, by our family—by our own sense of self-worth. There are so many Self-Help books to get us on our feet as healthy, mentally stable people.
But the Bible teaches that we have a helper. We don’t have to curl up on the floor, tormented; we have a God on our side. Why is it that we stress and are unhappy about the choices we have to make and the things out of our control?
Our daily life of work, family, relationships and spiritual battles so overwhelm us, that we forget our first avenue of help: God. Do you see Him as an invisible, ethereal being who can’t be bothered with your petty problems? Perhaps you can’t see Him, and that prevents you from believing He cares or listens?
When we pray, it’s not just a plea for help but a conversation with God. Just like you spend time talking with family and friends to deepen relationships, you pray to God to talk to Him: a conversation where you exchange news and feelings. Of course God knows already, but when you talk to Him: you invite Him into your life, you open yourself up to His response. It’s not making Him aware of what’s happening to you, it’s making you aware of His response.
Prayer is so important; Jesus needed to do it morning and evening, and sometimes all night. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23 “And even all night: And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 If the Son of God needed to pray to His Father, how much more does a powerless, frail human need to be connected to God?
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Calling God, “Father” connotes a relationship other than between a god and minion. Whatever your own personal relationship with your parent, this God will be a Father to you: protector, provider and parent. "For both he [Jesus] that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren," Hebrews 2:11 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 Jesus often called Him “Father” as well as directing his listeners to call Him “your Father.” Yet, we must never forget the holiness and reverence He deserves; consider how a God who is perfect and holy wants be our Father.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
When you pray, you’re stating your need for Him to be in your life. You acknowledge His power and how you have no power. You acknowledge that His will is not being done in this world and in your life, so you ask that He give you understanding and wisdom to know His will. You ask for His presence in your life; you invite Him to have a relationship with you. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
Give us this day our daily bread.
God cares about everything that happens to you. God loves you and wants to give you more than you have, but you don’t ask for it. Either because you don’t know what He can do, or you don’t have enough faith to believe He can give it to you. But He is ready and wanting to pour out His blessings upon us.
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Luke 11:9, 10
God is not Genie-of-the-Lamp, he knows what we will pray for, and knows what we need. "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:8
For our benefit, His answer may be “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait.” Our continual prayer will open us to receive the Holy Spirit and understand what His answer may be. An answer to our prayer may be “No,” which strengthens our faith, or curdles it. Will you turn your back on God, because He knew what you wanted was harmful? Or will you acknowledge His wisdom. Sometimes, it can be “Wait,” where faith will need to be stronger to sustain us in prayer for weeks, months…perhaps years. “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive not just the debt of finance, but also the emotional pain or other detriments that people may have caused us. “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:24-26
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 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.” James 5:15, 16
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:13, 14 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 "At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God." John 16:26, 27
When we pray in Jesus' name, we’re not just mouthing His name, but reminding ourselves to pray with His mindset and love for God. We remind ourselves of the relationship between Jesus and God, and how much They love us. God loves you so much He gave up His Son for you. His Son left Heaven to save you; why would you believe He would withhold any other blessings that would ease your sorrow? Whatever situation you’re in, don’t forget to pray.
- Should You Question God?
Throughout our Christian walk, we will sway between doubt and fervent faith. But whenever we come to a time of deepest despair or highest ecstasy, we should never stop praying to our Heavenly Father.