Well, that’s an easy one. We all know the purpose of prayer, right? Not so much my friends, not so much. While this has been a topic of discussion throughout the ages and each generation has come up with a slightly different slant, I think there is still some work and digging to be done on the real purpose of prayer. Preachers, teachers, the Scriptures and even Garth Brooks have all addressed the subject of prayer and all the different aspects but we are here today to get to the bottom of why we pray.
At the heart of it, prayer is communication. It has been said many times, and I will say it again here…. we make a concerted effort to communicate with those we love. When we don’t, the relationship falters or feels distant at best. Communication is vital in a good marriage, friendship or business partnership and…. heaven help us…. the parenting relationship. If we stop communicating there it will end in disaster one way or another. And why do we communicate with our loved ones? To stay current, in touch, make sure we are on the same page and show our love for them in that we care about what is going on in their hearts and lives. Oh friends, how vital it is that we communicate with our heavenly Father for all of the same reasons.
The prayer relationship is not just a “requesting” relationship. Again, if every time we communicated with family or friends it was because we needed something, I would dare say the relationship would soon become tiresome and they may even stop answering your calls or requests. Aren’t we just so thankful that God is not like that? We would all be in a heap of hurt.
So then, what is the purpose of prayer? Indeed, it is for all of the reasons listed above as the reasons we communicate with our loved ones, but here is the point that we often miss: communication with God is not to find answers, it is to find God. We are absolutely free (and prompted) to pray for wisdom in all decisions and answers when we have questions and yes, answers to specific requests, but at the heart of it what we are really seeking is the One who holds all the answers.
For a long time now, I have been really good at telling God how to answer my prayers. When I look back at that pattern of behavior I am first appalled and then it makes me laugh because I am sure He is doing the same. This was not a completely detrimental behavior but it was just short of the mark. Sometimes I still pray this way but for the most part my prayers are to seek His face and His will when a situation comes up. It’s more of an attitude of “Here we are, Lord, and you know all about it. What would you like to be done?”
Try it, dear ones. Change your attitude of prayer from “I need”, “I want” and “Please say yes” to “This is awesome” or “This is tragic” Lord…what would you have to be done? I am seeking you…. not just answers.” To quote Oswald Chambers: “The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer”. Thank you, sir. That one phrase changed my life.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”