Although God is sovereign and all-powerful he expects his children to pray to him. Why? Could he not run the world without our prayers? I believe He could.
A popular saying is: “Prayer changes things”. In my view the main thing it changes is attitude. If you are praying for someone regularly, you may find you feel differently towards them after a while.
The Bible gives examples of how prayer seems to have affected the way God acted or stayed his hand.
It also gives many examples of prayers said in the past and still used in many Churches – the whole of the book of Psalms, the beginnings and endings of many letters to Churches and individuals and some of the prophets including Moses, whose blessing is one of my favourites. Two well-known prayers of Jesus are the one He taught his disciples (the Lord’s prayer) and his prayer the night before he was crucified. There are also the prayers of Mary, Zechariah, Simeon and Stephen.
Prayer is not always words either. Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first High priest. He wore the names of the tribes of Israel on his shoulders when he entered the Holy of Holies. It counted as lifting them up to the Lord. This makes me think that we perhaps become too involved in repetition and ritual.
If we have a prayer list God already knows the names of the people and concerns on it. Perhaps repeating their names helps us remember who they are and to show them we care for them by knowing their names. But if we are unable to spend the time going through lists which seem to grow all the time, we should not beat ourselves up about it or take less sleep than we really need. God knows all their needs.
We should spend more time praising and thanking God. I was introduced to the guidelines of praying using ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
This puts asking for God’s help and intervention last after worship, repentance and gratitude.
The reason God expects his children to talk to Him is that He desires that we come to know Him as He knows us.
There are so many needs for prayer worldwide and we can only be aware of some of them. If we pray for the things which concern us and the people we are led to pray for, that is probably all that is required of us. It is likely that other people are praying for needs we are unaware of.
There are promises in the Bible to those who pray.
Where two or three are gathered together, whatever they ask in my name… Matthew 18:19-20
The prayer of a righteous man…James 5:16
Do you pray?