“If God knows everything, why should I pray?” —Jay
There are many texts in the Bible which address prayer. It is a broad topic which has
given rise to many different methods and views of communication with God. Since we
can’t discuss all of these, let’s focus on a few basic principles of prayer.
Prayer, to a great degree, is a way of life, a continual dialogue with God, speaking and
listening (I Thess. 5:17.) It is a rehearsing of God’s promises and provision, a grateful
celebration of joy and life. (Many prayers recorded in Scripture reflect this.)
Prayer is the deep cry of the soul when human resources come to an end. We are invited
to bring all our petitions to God—and we are promised peace as an answer (Phil 4:6-7.)
In our prayer, we acknowledge our dependence on God. The “Model Prayer” (Matt.6:9-11) affirms that the holy, sovereign, heavenly Father, God, is the One in whom we
place our trust and whose purpose we desire to see fulfilled on earth. This same prayer
incorporates an ethical dimension: we ask God to teach us how to forgive and to live.
With these things in mind, we more clearly understand that prayer is not simply a
recitation of a wish list, focused on “me and what I want.” Prayer is an activity that, in
the doing, changes me, making me into the person God wants me to be, transforming my
mind and spirit to be more like His.