Why Believers Pray
Recognizing that God is sovereign prompts some questions about the nature of prayer. Specifically, many people have asked me, “If the Lord is in control, why does He expect us to pray?”
Prayer brings us into cooperation with what God has purposed to accomplish. He desires to involve believers in the work He is doing both in the world and in their lives. But the word “work” is a tricky one when it comes to our faith. Unlike the striving we see in the world, what God desires is for us to trust Him (John 6:29), surrender our burdens to Him, grow in relationship with Him, and allow Him to work through us. Prayer is a tool we can use to do all those things.
In John 17:11, Jesus asked God to protect the disciples by the power of His name (niv). Did He think they might lose their salvation or drift from their commitment? Absolutely not. Jesus was God in human flesh. He knew exactly what was going to happen—how these men would spread the gospel and remain faithful even unto death. Jesus was taking part in the Father’s plan for His followers by interceding for them.
God certainly can build His kingdom without believers’ input or help. But a relationship develops depth and intimacy when the Lover and His beloved share an interest. Praying and working alongside our Lord strengthens our faith in His power.
Talking with almighty God is a privilege. The Lord created you to love Him and be loved by Him. Prayer is how that connection gets nurtured and developed. Our Father calls us to communicate with Him so He can draw us close to His heart and involve us in building the kingdom.
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