Why should we pray? Many of us can list reasons: Medical tests, parenting small children, work related issues, parenting adolescents, financial concerns, marriage issues, parenting adult children, concerns about the future, letting our children parent us and on and on the list could go.
But are there reasons besides times of crisis and problems (what one person calls “flare prayers?”) Why should we be praying? Waylon Bailey suggests the following three:
1) We should pray in order to meet with God. Our God-times should rank as the #1 priority in our day. It was so in the ministry and life of Jesus, and should be indispensable for us as a way to get to know God. Jesus would rise early in the morning to pray, and slip away for times of prayer during the day. We should do the same.
2) We should pray to learn what matters to God. We want to know God’s will, what God’s priorities are… that “His Kingdom would come.” How else can we know the priorities of His kingdom if we don’t pray? We pray to learn the mind of God.
3) We should pray to ask God’s help to do what matters to Him. We ask God to help us to act, to think, and finally to do according to His list of priorities…not our own. We don’t ask God to bless our agenda. We seek Him in prayer that we might know His.
While there’s nothing wrong in seeking God during times of stress and crisis, those times may come less if we seek Him every day in prayer as our first priority. Do you want to know God better…to learn what matters to Him… to have power to do according to His will? We will find these things as we pray.