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What is the point of prayer?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Quasar92, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

    hy pray? What is the point of prayer when God knows the future and is already in control of everything. If we cannot change God's mind, why should we pray?

    For the Christian, praying is like breathing. It is easier to do it than to not do it. We pray for a variety of reasons. For one thing, prayer is a form of serving God (Luke 2:36-38) and obeying Him. We pray because God commands us to pray (Philippians 4:6-7). Prayer is exemplified for us by Christ and the early church (Mark 1:35; Acts 1:14; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 6:4; 13:1-3). If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If He needed to pray to remain in the Father’s will, how much more do we need to pray?

    Another reason to pray is that God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in a number of situations. We pray in preparation for major decisions (Luke 6:12-13); to overcome demonic barriers (Matthew 17:14-21); to gather workers for the spiritual harvest (Luke 10:2); to gain strength to overcome temptation (Matthew 26:41); and to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually (Ephesians 6:18-19).

    We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God's promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for (Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26-27). He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7; Luke 18:1-8). Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God's will done on earth. God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

    For situations in which we do not know God's will specifically, prayer is a means of discerning His will. If the Syrian woman with the demon-influenced daughter had not prayed to Christ, her daughter would not have been made whole (Mark 7:26-30). If the blind man outside Jericho had not called out to Christ, he would have remained blind (Luke 18:35-43). God has said that we often go without because we do not ask (James 4:2). In one sense, prayer is like sharing the gospel with people. We do not know who will respond to the message of the gospel until we share it. In the same way, we will never see the results of answered prayer unless we pray.

    A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God’s Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for (Ephesians 3:20). Prayer is our primary means of seeing God work in others' lives. Because it is our means of “plugging into” God's power, it is our means of defeating Satan and his army that we are powerless to overcome by ourselves. Therefore, may God find us often before His throne, for we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through (Hebrews 4:15-16). We have His promise that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much (James 5:16-18). May God glorify His name in our lives as we believe in Him enough to come to Him often in prayer.

    Recommended Resources: Prayer, The Great Adventure by David Jeremiah and Logos Bible Software.


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  2. Roseonathorn

    Roseonathorn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Prayer for a christian is like thoughts to the brain. It is a way of communicating with our God.
  3. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    Prayer for me is walking along an isolated beach, with my hands in my pockets, chatting with God about anything and everything. Fellowship like that is fun and enjoyable for both of us.
  4. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    United States
    There's a danger in this wording not many have considered.

    Some people (not all, just some) that are seeking, and look at Christianity in their quest to find that Something they seek, are blocked by the idea that God has already predetermined who will be saved (already knows who will be saved, and you've got no chance otherwise).

    Others, that grew up in a church even, also get their faith weakened or destroyed by this picture of already-determined salvation of some, and not others.

    Because it looks profoundly unfair.

    Not a "God" they want to follow, as this idea seems to be, to them.

    You don't even get a chance, not even if you are trying.... Not a fair thing.

    But it's also not the God in the Bible.

    Though that idea of predetermined salvation of some and not others is one way of reading certain verses, and in isolation, this is contradicted by other scriptures, many think. Most seem to think it's clearly a wrong idea, by scripture.

    Instead, the majority view is that by scripture, salvation is offered to all.

    And even making the good distinction like "God knows who will choose Him" isn't quite clear and complete enough to avoid block and destroying the faith of some.

    So, a hypothesis made into a doctrine, and then spread, is blocking some people from finding God. And destroying some even that grew up in churches.

    But what is even the use of this doctrine? To give us an out for not bothering with telling people the Good News? Does it help us in faith somehow? No.

    But it is very dangerous actually even to those preaching it, because of Matthew 18:6

    Because of this great danger of blocking some would-be converts from God and destroying the faith of some of the young, I think it's important to avoid asserting what we do not really know.

    Therefore, even the ambiguous wording "....God knows the future..." isn't good enough.

    We can only rightly say God has determined some key, the most key things, that will happen, by his plan.

    We should not assert or accidentally say more than that.
  5. Roseonathorn

    Roseonathorn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Well, God does not plan that kids have to die. That is evil, or nasty humans or the Devil using humans behind it. God has planned that a person should live until age of about 70 years. Everything that happens on this earth is definitedly not Gods will... Have You not noticed the wickedness in this world? Even we christians risk to turn blind and deaf to the needs of the needy and weak.
  6. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    To give thanks. :)

    I think you ave good points, and it seems praying is like giving permission to God to act. God has given freedom for us and don't force us to accept Him and His will.