Why Do We Pray?

“. . . you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

— 1 Corinthians 1:9

“Why do we have to say our prayers?” asks a little boy as his mother prepares him for bed. This child’s simple question echoes the sentiment in the hearts of many people much older and supposedly much wiser than he. Do you ever ask that question? And if so, have you found any answers?

One of the key reasons we pray is to commune with God. Prayer fosters a two-way relationship between us and the God who loves and cares for us. Consider a child growing up in a home where his parents have given him everything: life, love, food, clothes. In everything, the parents have provided the very best they could afford. But as the child gets older, he decides that he doesn’t have time for his parents, so he hardly ever comes home except when he has to. When he does, he stays busy in his room, rarely responding to his parents. Finally, the child grows into a man, goes out on his own, finds a job, and gets married. He never visits his parents; he never writes; he never calls.

What would you call such a child?

What would you call a person who receives life and love from his Father in Heaven, the Father who watches over him and provides everything he needs in this life, including the food he eats and the clothes he wears? He receives innumerable blessings, and yet he grows up, never talking to his Father, never visiting His house. Unconcerned with his relationship with his Father, he never prays. What do you call such a person? The Scripture calls such a person a “pagan,” a person without God, a godless human being.

But we who know the Lord delight in spending time with Him. Why do we pray? Not so that He will do more than we ask or think, although He does. We pray so we can walk with God.

Today, spend some time with your Father. Tell Him what’s on your mind and in your heart. And listen for Him to tell you about Himself, too. He wants a daily, two-way relationship with you more than you could ever imagine.

“Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays.”
Soren Kierkegaard