Why do we pray? A Reason for Prayer


We do not pray to inform God of our needs, because He knows what we need before we ask.

It is not to wear Him down until He gives in out of weariness, because He is not like the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8)–God brings justice to His elect quickly!

It is not to change God’s mind about this or that, because our God never changes. We pray because God has chosen prayer as the means by which He works, and because He has called us to commune with Him and to find our joy and fulfillment in His presence.

During the last several years my most exciting moments have been the times when I have had the privilege of ministering in Asia. In the midst of such a trip, every day for many weeks is filled with teaching. As I am away, I become more tired, more lonely and sometimes more depressed with each passing day. When I am able to save up enough “air miles,” I can fly Karen over to Hawaii to meet me on the way home, and we can spend some time in rest and enjoyment with one another in that beautiful place.

How I remember longing to see her as the days of ministry passed by slowly! I would finally board a plan early in the morning from some point in Asia and connect in Seoul or Tokyo with a plane to Hawaii. It would then be an all-night flight to Honolulu, but I would not be able to sleep a wink. I would arrive early the next morning and check into a hotel, planning to take a nap before Karen arrived that afternoon from Chicago. However, I couldn’t sleep then, either.

Finally I would take a bus too early to the airport and pace the concourses until Karen’s plane taxied to the gate. I would strain to see her as the passengers came down the jetway, and then, finally, I would see her face. I would run to her, embrace her, and hold her. All of my heart’s desires were fulfilled in that moment when I was in her presence.

What is prayer like for you?

Is it a religious ritual that you perform out of habit?

Is it a spiritual discipline that you practice because you want to be the best Christian you possibly can be?

Is it a mechanism by which you can bring your “shopping list” to God in order to have your needs met?

Or are you running to meet your Lover, to commune with Him, hungering to find your joy in Him, and to be fulfilled in His presence?

Bill-Mills–Bill Mills, Founder of Leadership Resources International
This post is an excerpt from Language of the Heart: Knowing Joy and Communion in Prayer by Bill Mills.

Your turn: What helps you better encounter God through prayer?

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