Why do you pray? Probably for one of five reasons—you can pray, you may pray, you should pray, you want to pray, and you must pray.
Let me explain. First, you pray because you can pray. God created us in such a way that our minds can grasp that there is a God in heaven. We’re made with a brain that can think and formulate ideas and shape words into ideas that can communicate with God.
Also, you pray because you may pray. God has given us access to the very throne room of heaven. The Bible says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
You probably pray, too, because you should pray. Jesus told his disciples that “they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
Then, you pray because you want to pray. You have needs that you want to ask God to meet. You want to express thankfulness, too, for your blessings.
Last, you pray because you must pray. Pastor Jim Cymbala says, “If I say, ‘I ought to pray,’ I will soon run out of motivation and quit…. I have to be driven to pray.” No doubt that’s one reason God allows trouble in our lives—to drive us to our knees to seek Him. You’ve heard that old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes”? That’s because when you are desperate for God’s help, you don’t stop to think of ten logical reasons why you believe in prayer—just you frantically call out to Him for help.
Yes, we pray because we can, we may, we should, we want to, and we must. It’s a great privilege. As Moses told the people of Israel, “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” (Deut. 4:7).
Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 49.
What is your encouragement verse on prayer?