Sometimes when we do something for a while, we forget WHY we do it. Anything can go like this—WHY do we eat dinner as a family every night?, WHY do we clean out the gerbil cage every week?, WHY do we go to church every weekend?
It can be this way with prayer. We can begin to forget WHY we pray. We feel we should pray, but we don’t think about WHY. I suggest when we’re pushed between competing priorities, it would be wise to remember our WHYs.
Here are five of them:
Connection with God
Prayer connects us with God and helps to build intimacy. There is no other religion in the world with such a personal God as our Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and our helper, the Holy Spirit. So take advantage of the amazing access and availability that is for everyone who believes. If you want to know God better, then pray.
Exaltation of Christ
When we pray to the Father, we pray through Christ because he’s our high priest. Jesus certifies that all of our prayers make it to the throne room of God. This exalts Jesus because he gets to do what he loves—mediate between us and the Father. When we pray, we enable Jesus to do what he does best, which brings him glory. So if you want to exalt Christ, then pray.
Prayer is a great means of personal development. If you’re listening for your Father, he can show you areas for growth, new directions, and guidance. He can give you heavenly things like spiritual gifts, knowledge, and discernment. The truth is, once you begin following Jesus, you’re enrolled in the School of the Holy Spirit. How’s your attendance? Are you an active student or a truant one? If you want God to develop you, then pray.
Not only is prayer used for building up God and yourself, prayer is also used for Kingdom ministry. That is, prayer is upward and inward, but also outward. When you pray for someone else, you invite the Father to move in their life. There are so many spectacular possibilities with the all-powerful God. If you want to build God’s Kingdom, then pray.
Unity in Relationships
Have you ever prayed with others and as a result, felt close and united with them? Coming around our Father can do that. In Christ there is far more we have in common than we know. Prayer reminds us of our joint citizenship in heaven, our common heritage, and our ultimate goal. On the other hand, have you ever tried to pray with someone with whom you’re angry or hold a grudge? Prayer has a way of sorting those barriers out. If you want unity in relationships, then pray.
The competing priorities will come, but if you remember your WHYs, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what’s at stake.