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Why is prayer necessary?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Gumph, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Gumph

    Gumph Newbie

    Now by prayer, I mean the well known traditional means of kneeling, clasping hands, closing eyes and speaking to God - or something similar.

    Why can we not speak like in a conversation? Why can we not converse using our thoughts? What is the reason behind this ritual and why does he ignore us if its not done properly?
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  2. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Are you saying that you believe God ignores us if we fail to close our eyes, or raise our hands instead of clasping them?

    He doesn't. He may ignore us if our hearts are insincere, or if we hate our fellow man ... but it has nothing to do with the postures we were taught (or not) it whether we use our own words or some we have learned. God looks upon the heart.

    There are reasons to use formal prayers sometimes. Those that are accepted and written by the spiritually wise can teach us, direct our thoughts in a right way, help us express what we might not be able to on our own, and so on. Still, if they are merely recited - they are not really prayers if they are not being prayed.

    And there are reasons to use prayers in our own words - especially to ask forgiveness of our particular faults, to express thanks for particular things, and to ask for particular help for ourselves or others. These are unlikely to be found in formal prayers for the particulars we want to express.

    Prayer can be set aside time with words we say to God. It can be an ongoing conversation while we do other things. It can be waiting in silence before God. It can be contemplation of Scripture or the goodness of God, etc.

    The body isn't completely unimportant during prayer either. Our postures, etc. feed and strengthen our attitude, etc. In many ways this can shape us.

    Very generally speaking, these all have their place and are beneficial. There is nothing that says only one particular method must be adopted and others rejected. To do so limits our potential means of growth and communion with God.
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  3. maintenance man

    maintenance man Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    You should be praying all day long.

    “Rejoice evermore.

    Pray without ceasing.

    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)
  4. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

    United States
    "Why can we not speak like in a conversation? Why can we not converse using our thoughts? "

    Jesus is our best friend and nothing wrong with talking with him as a friend ... I do this all the time, in thought. There are also times when one kneels and prays ... in a more humble state of mind showing a deep reverence in submission/worship to Him. Churches prefer the latter because of the church being dedicated/representative as the house/temple of the Lord.

    Jesus knelt when He prayed to His Father.

    Jesus is described in Luke as kneeling when He sought the Father's permission to avoid the cross. Consider Jesus' words as He prayed:

    Luke 22:39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.
    Luke 22:40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “ Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
    Luke 22:41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,
    Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

    Both are good. Since Jesus knelt to pray it is not a "ritual" .... we follow the Lamb, He is our example.

    Jesus is your friend, talk to Him as such .... Jesus is your Lord and Savior kneel before Him and pray.


    God Bless.
  5. JM

    JM Well-Known Member Supporter

    John Gill, “…it should be said that God’s will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our crying. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” (Jer. 15:1). The prayers of Moses to enter the promised land is a parallel case.

    Our views respecting prayer need to be revised and brought into harmony with the teaching of Scripture on the subject. The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No; prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of, as in the former case, seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, “not my will, but thine be done”.

    “When God bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, as if He was inclined and turned by them; but it is for His own sake, and of His own sovereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it is answered, This is the way and means God has appointed, for the communication of the blessing of His goodness to His people. For though He has purposed, provided, and promised them, yet He will be sought unto, to give them, and it is a duty and privilege to ask. When they are blessed with a spirit of prayer, it forebodes well, and looks as if God intended to bestow the good things asked, which should be asked always with submission to the will of God, saying, Not my will but Thine be done”
  6. Gumph

    Gumph Newbie

    Thank you all for your answers. They were good to hear and a bit of a relief as I had been accused in another thread of not praying hard enough. I was worried I had not done it properly, however this does not seem to be the case.
  7. food4thought

    food4thought Loving truth Supporter

    United States
    Hello again, Gumph. Although the position of our body is not integral to proper prayer, the position of our heart definitely is. Quite honestly, we must believe there is a God to hear us and that He will reward those who sincerely seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). I do believe God will here an honest seeker who has doubts, but there must be that kernel of faith present. I will be praying that God does something in your heart that brings to life that spark of faith that He can build into a flame.

    With many prayers;