Eight Reasons Why We Should Pray
Written by Mark Wickersham, ECS Director of Spiritual Formation
Back in February, I talked about praying for Christ-centered education. In that post, I stated that prayer is the primary way for Christians to COMMUNICATE thanks, CONVEY hopes, CONFESS sins, and CELEBRATE God. German theologian Martin Luther famously said that he has so much to do that he shall spend the first three hours of the day in prayer. Despite being mentioned in the Bible hundreds of times, I think most of us aren’t praying like Martin Luther. If you’re struggling to pray even three minutes a day, perhaps the reasons I mentioned below can push you to spend more time with God in prayer.
1. Christians should devote themselves to it. Colossians 4:2 says, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Prayer isn’t something we should only do before a meal or when we want something. We are to have a lifestyle of prayer where we constantly pray.
2. To know God and grow closer to Him. Matthew 6:6 says, But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Prayer is a powerful privilege where we can receive God’s help and better understand who He is.
3. To please God. Proverbs 15:8 says, The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. When we pray, we show interest in God and our dependence on Him. This brings God great joy.
4. To confess sins and have them forgiven. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. We must be honest with God and confess our crimes against Him. This is done through prayer and when done, our slate is wiped clean. Amazing grace.
5. So we don’t fall into temptation. Matthew 26:41 says, Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Life is full of sinful temptations, and Satan wants us to fall into temptation. Prayer helps us not fall into Satan’s schemes.
6. To gain wisdom. James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Jesus is the source of wisdom (Colossians 2:3), and we can go to Him and ask for the ability to discern and judge what is true and right.
7. It accomplishes much. James 5:16 says, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Prayer is far more powerful than anything we can accomplish in our own strength. We need to spend more time being still and praying to our all-powerful God.
8. Jesus did it. Mark 1:35 says, And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. If this is a practice that Jesus did alone and with others, I’m not sure how we can argue against it!
What are some other reasons why we should pray? I would love to hear from you and how you practice this essential spiritual discipline. Additionally, I hope you will join us at one of our four campuses before school on September 27th for See You At The Pole. More details will be coming soon about this global day of prayer!