What’s the Purpose?

Why? Why? But why? Why? Why? Why? Why? But why? Why?…

Anyone who has been around an inquisitive toddler has heard the continual questions of why that seem to go on and on and on. I think at times we sound that way to God, but thankfully God does not get tired or irritated by our questions. So, let’s ask the question why pray?

There are many explanations of why we should pray. A few of the reasons that we at Bible Study Journey came up with are because we are told to, to be in communication with God, it’s a privilege, to be imitators of Jesus, to be a part of God’s workings, to develop humility and to have power over evil. I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into the Bible to discover what God has to say about prayer. Please join me on this journey to discover why we pray.

Christians are to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), faithfully (Romans 12:12), devoted (Colossians 4:2), to praying for everyone (1 Timothy 2:1)–even our enemies (Matthew 5:44)–and on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18). Does that seem overwhelming? Just take it slow and remember that learning new things and developing new habits takes time. With confidence I can say that God will bless you richly when you devote yourself to strengthening your prayer life.

I became devoted to prayer when I learned that Jesus himself prayed for us. It was early in my Christian walk during a women’s Bible study when we discussed John 17:20-25. In verses 24 and 25, Jesus said this prayer to God: 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
      “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” 

If Jesus prayed for me, then why should I not pray for him and for God’s glory to shine above all?

If you are anything like me, you struggled at the thought of praying for everyone, all the time, and for those who attack us. That is where humility comes in as shown in Proverbs 11:2, “with humility comes wisdom” and in 22:4, “Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.” It is amazing when you humble yourself and truly pray in God’s will for goodness to those who have done you wrong. Give it a try; you won’t be sorry.

I believe the most humbling reason to pray is to be a part of God’s plan. When I think of who in the Bible (outside of Jesus) brought glory to God by his actions and his prayers, I think of the Prophet Elijah (You can find his story in 1 Kings 17-18:14). Elijah stood up for his beliefs in God. He prayed for God’s interventions even when they would be tremendously hard to endure. I see a man who showed us that the Christian life is not always easy. He wavered from time to time, even trying to hide from God when he felt like a failure. Just because you profess to believe in God, it does not mean that all troubles will be washed away and life will be one happy party. However, if we stay dedicated, humble, and steadfast in prayer, we can find the joy in the trials of life. Better yet, we are a witness to others, and the family of God will grow.

God shared with Elijah how his life had affected the Kingdom of God in Romans 11:4, “and what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.'” 7,000! WOW! Elijah had no clue that his life had such an impact and the same goes for us. We have no way to know how a stranger’s life is impacted by our own. Just think, if someone sees you be extraordinarily gracious during a time of trial where you give God the glory for being able to endure, they may share what they saw with someone else, who will share it with someone else, and so on and so on.

I invite you to download the printable prayer journal (here) and other resources (here) we have available. Use these to commit to increasing your love for communicating with God through devoted prayer. I will conclude with a prayer:

Dear Lord,
Your gracious love for us is unfathomable. You say you will not leave those who believe in you. You give a way through any and all trials we come across here on earth. For this I thank you. I pray that my selfish desires are extinguished by the living water that flows through me from your Holy Spirit. Please use my life to strengthen your kingdom. Thank you for not turning your back on me. I thank you for the hope that comes from believing in your promise of returning to earth to redeem the world. Until that time I will continue to praise your good works. I speak all of this in the precious name of Jesus,
Amen.

 

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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