“When life caves in, you do not need reasons – you need comfort. You do not need some answers – you need someone. And Jesus does not come to us with an explanation, He comes with Himself.” – Bob Benson
Why do we pray? There are many answers to this question. On most we could all agree. Still, I think there are some reasons that are hidden and secret, known only to God.
Here is my start at addressing some of the reasons why I think we pray, why I pray, why God has called all of us to pray.
We pray because we are alone and powerless.
We have all drifted away with our busy lives and then a crisis strikes. There is so much we can fix on our own. These may not be perfect solutions but they are ours. Then something strikes at us that’s just too much. Our self-sufficiency cannot protect us. Most of us want answers right away. An easy and painless solution that will solve the looming threat. Don’t you?
Instead, what we need is a nearness to the living God. The great distraction is the search for a fix. Unfortunately, it is an endless quest, to find answers to problems for a life that keeps coming unraveled. Isn’t there a way to live and experience less aloneness and accomplish more?
For apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
Here Jesus is teaching about the vine and the branches. He is the source of our life and we are to live attached to him, branching out from him, growing out of his will and way.
- It seems that we are meant to be doing something with our lives, something that matters.
- The plan all along has been to be with God, to live a life that is always in fellowship with him.
- To live apart is a disaster, not just a preference (life choice). Read the rest of the parable. Do you smell smoke?
- When we pray, we are joined with God – our heart, mind and soul. We all need to live a daily life of prayer so that we will be less prone to wander away from our Heavenly Father.
Our aloneness isn’t the cause of our inner struggles, it’s the effect of living separated from God. What are you doing, thinking, worrying, planning, auto-piloting, judging, failing, reaching? Why are we living any aspect of our lives apart from God?
I doubt most of us consciously make decisions to wander away from our relationship with God. Instead, I think we get distracted by the cares of life. Fast-paced living sets my spiritual attention into an automatic mode. Rituals and routines lose their meaning and purpose. Sometimes I look up and wonder about all the miles and sights that I’ve missed. My attention and soul was somewhere else. What about you?
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” – John 10:10
Apart from walking with Jesus each day, you cannot live the rich and satisfying life that he intends for you to live now. You cannot live in fellowship with God unless you are living in a conversational and transformational relationship. You have to be on speaking terms. You have to realize that things are never going to stop changing. This is an essential reminder that I must look in the eye each day.
Look at what Paul wrote about a life lived in fellowship with God:
“When I think of all this (God’s mysterious plan), I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul had to remain conscious of what God had, was and will do in His great plan. That consciousness on his part was a constant reminder that he was never alone and God’s transformative power was always at work.
Lasting transformation isn’t going to happen on my own. No matter how many self-help books I buy at the airport. We all need a supernatural relationship. Living near to God matters. Living away from him is a fully furnished house you walk around in all alone at night.
But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. – Psalm 73:28