As a follower of Jesus, it is probably the question I’ve personally been asked most often.
If God is all-knowing… knows what’s gonna happen, knows me inside and out, is GOD… then what’s the point of praying?
I think that there are endless good answers to this question, but I’m gonna answer it really basically today.
First of all– know what prayer is.
Prayer is not simply, “God, please do this.” Prayer is not a wish of your “fairy godmother.” We are called to FAITH, yes, not to controlling. Faith means believing that if God is who He says He is, He CAN do anything I ask Him. To say otherwise would be to say that He’s not God. If He wanted to make it rain gumdrops, of course He would make it happen. Which does mean that yes, He is capable of miraculous healing and of making the world perfect. In fact, the book of John tells us that He has already overcome the world. It also tells us that, while we’re in it, we will have trials. But that the suffering we endure here is nothing compared to the glory that is to come. We are called to have FAITH in that, and it is then the faith that He provides so much joy in and through.
So for that we can PRAISE HIM. Prayer often looks like a necessary sacrifice on our parts, as His children that He died for, just bowing in reverence. Worshipping, marvelling at His feet. The Word tells us that He is near us when we worship, and that our praises are fragrant offering to Him. He receives worship while we receive His love.
And know that we were undeservingly forgiven.
Jesus is so so gracious. In fact, it is overflowing around us (2 Corinthians 9:8). But He calls us to REPENT OF HIM. To acknowledging to Him our wrongs and our mistakes, to giving those to Him genuinely and openly and asking for forgiveness. Knowing that this is an absolutely vital part of our relationship with Him. Which brings me to another point, that
Jesus is a person.
More tangible, real, and AMAZING than any human you can see. CLOSER TO YOU than any human will ever be, forever. This is love that is overwhelming to think about, but it’s true. And the same way that we have the ability to ignore loved ones, things, people in our lives, we can choose to ignore Him. But all it takes is turning to Him, committing to live for Him and receive Him and know Him to see Him in everything, and to know Him next to us. It is only when we are living in such a close relationship with a person that we feel comfortable or called to ASK them things. Asking is definitely a part of prayer… Jesus, how are you calling me to act in this situation?
Jesus, I ask for a little extra of Your strength today– I ask that you would help me to keep my gaze fixed on You, for I know that is what is best.
Jesus, I ask for Your healing work in my co-worker’s life.
He is Holy, and His ways are better than yours.
At the end of the day, yes– He is all-knowing. He does know you inside and out. And He does already have a plan. Which is why we can rest in YIELDING to what He does, expecting Him to be who He says He is (great, perfect, merciful, mighty, fatherly, compassionate, teaching).
Ultimately, when we know Jesus, we know just how insignificant we are. Prayer isn’t about what WE get– it’s about what He gets. It’s about His glory, and taking part in the only thing– One– that is eternal, and His purpose for all of us. We are closer to that purpose each time we hear from God, and choose to be intimate with Him.
Here’s the cool little acronym, one of my favourites:
P.R.A.Y.=Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield