Matthew 6:8 says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” So, if God knows what we need before we ask, why pray?
If you were to list the spiritual practices of the Christian faith, prayer would certainly be one of them.
How Do You Define Prayer?
What is your definition of prayer? Is prayer always asking for something? Is prayer something you only remember to do occasionally? Or is prayer something you find yourself doing more when you face a crisis?
When things are going well, you may find that you aren’t praying so much. Life and its demands can cause us to be caught in the grip of busy.
The apostle Paul says to, “pray without ceasing.” In Paul’s directive and in the words of Jesus, the message is to remind us of our oneness with God. It is a constant awareness of God’s presence within us and in the world.
Are Prayers Unanswered?
If we focus on prayer and its outcomes, we may think that prayers go unanswered. If prayers aren’t answered in the way we expect, we can become bitter. We forget that what we pray for someone else may not be what God has in mind for them.
I’ll never forget when my mother was going through a very difficult time. I was asking God to help her and at the same time doing a why prayer – God, why does she have to go through this? God’s very clear answer to me was, “Jackie, maybe it’s not about you. Maybe I want your mother to trust me more.” That shut me up.
God does know what you need before you ask. But prayer is about relationship. When you don’t communicate with someone, the relationship suffers. When we don’t pray – simply talk to God, we can begin to feel distant.
Know that God is never distant. And unlike a human, God won’t cut the conversation short, roll his eyes, or think that anything is silly or horrific.
If you haven’t signed up for my free mini course, Be Present with God, there is a whole video, audio, and transcript on prayer that includes 10 tips on prayer. If you have accessed the course, I encourage you to watch the Prayer section if you find prayer to be challenging. In the course you will learn about meditation too. I say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. These meditations were designed for you to listen.