Why Are We Required to Pray?
Why are we required to pray? 1. Because prayer establishes God’s sovereignty, might and majesty. The fact that we have to ask for blessing seals in our minds that God is our ruler and provider. Prayer reminds us that we need His guidance, permission and provision. If we did not have to pray, this vital awareness would surely drop out of our minds – so prayer keeps us under God’s authority. 2. Because prayer brings us into fellowship with God. Would we relate closely with the Lord if we did not need to ask for our blessings? 3. Because prayer makes us deeply aware of his goodness and power. We repent and taste His forgiving love. We cry out for strength, and He restores and helps us. We ask for situations so hard that we are in despair, and He remarkably intervenes, leaving us in wonder of His kindness. If such blessings were given without our laboring in prayer, we would not appreciate them. 4. Because prayer shows us the full extent of our privileged status with the Lord. Almighty God is willing to be prevailed upon by His people! We may have no power of audience with the great people of this world, and even if we had, there is little likelihood of real influence. Yet we may go to the King of kings and Lord of lords, and be heard, because we are His own. 5. Because prayer teaches us our limitations. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve wanted independence, believing that God was withholding from them insight which would enable them to succeed without Him. Through prayer God trains us to go in the opposite direction, and see we are incomplete and inadequate without Him. 6. Because prayer delivers from pride. If churches filled up without prayer, preachers would think highly of themselves, and take the credit. If we could live holy lives, or accomplish anything of substance without prayer, conceit would drown us. Prayer keeps us humble. 7. Because prayer delivers us from self- interest, as we realize we cannot have whatever we like. Earthly aims and selfish things are shamed away before the Throne of Grace. We know instinctively that we must pray for others, and for the Kingdom, and so we are delivered from the idol “self”. The need to ask the Lord about every major thing we do or buy serves as a restraint upon our appetites. Prayer serves as a caution, and helps us to be better people. 8. Because prayer builds up faith and assurance more and more as one’s memory bank of outstanding answers grows. At times the Lord delays His response until we pray repeatedly and more earnestly, all this being a trust-strengthening process. We come to believe with tenacity that He will bless, in due time. Many times when feelings fail, the evidence of God’s fatherly goodness is derived from answered prayer. 9. Because prayer powerfully makes the believer aware that he is never alone. We can pray whatever our circumstances, wherever we are, and whatever the time. This is one of the great comforts arising from prayer, that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. 10. Because prayer is a great leveler, teaching God’s people that none of His servants are greater in His sight than any other. Paul pleads for prayer as though his usefulness depended upon it – and it did. Ordinary believers had a share in his ministry by prayer, remembering that as a needy mortal, he was like them. Paul also was saved from wrong views of himself.
By Peter Masters, Pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England from his book, "The Lord’s Pattern for Prayer."
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