By Breanna Alverson
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
Finally, we must answer one of the biggest questions concerning our invitation to pray. Why should we pray? This question sets the tone for everything else that we have learned about prayer. However, it is not such an easy question to answer. There are other questions attached to it in determining why we should pray to God.
Does He really hear my prayers? What is my part if He is in control of everything? Why should I talk to Him if He already knows my thoughts? The list of questions goes on and on. They are natural questions to ask because communicating with the God of the universe who is completely unbound by time, space and human limits is in and of itself a phenomenon!
The answer is simple: relationship.
God wants us to come and pray to Him because it means we will grow in intimacy with Him. Yes He is in control always, whether we come to Him or not, but it is in our best interest to interact with Him in prayer. When we talk to God, we find peace no matter the circumstances and are reminded of His truths. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
He hears us and knows what we need! 1 John 5 assures us that we can approach Him with confidence and whatever we ask according to His purpose will be done for us. Praying for God’s will to be done in our lives is the best thing we could ever do because He loves us more than we could ever love ourselves and He truly knows what is in our best interest.
However, do not be deceived. He is not a genie sent to do our bidding; rather, He is Lord. James 4:3 makes this clear saying, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” He wants us to present our requests before Him, but He will not bless our sin because we ask Him to. He is Lord and our job is to trust Him as God.
But this does not mean that He does not want us to come to Him and ask! He is a Good Father and He loves to give to His children. Matthew 7:11 says, “If you, then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” As flawed humans, we know how to give special gifts to the ones we love. So, how much more will the perfect all-knowing God of love be able to give to His people?
Prayer is not pointless because it means relationship with God Most High. Simply put, if we never ask, how will we ever know it was Him? Prayer directs our thoughts and attention so that we can see God move and get to know Him.
As believers, our relationship with God is something special. Therefore, let’s not waste it! Spend today getting to know our Lord and Savior through prayer.
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About Department of Spiritual Life
Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.