Why do we Pray? If you grew up in the south (like me), there’s a chance prayer was interwoven into your childhood. Praying before meals. Praying before bed. Telling loved ones we will pray for them when hard times hit. For some, prayer is just as much a cultural component as it is a spiritual one. The problem is, we talk a lot about prayer but don’t often teach people about prayer.
I grew up in the church where I was taught how to worship. Went to a Christian school where I was taught how to read Scripture. I’ve been in more small groups than I can count, teaching me what Christian community should be. But when I look back at those formidable years in my life, the idea of teaching me, or anyone, how to pray seems to be lost. We’re so much better at teaching people how to read Scripture versus teaching people how to pray.
This then stirs the question: “Why do we pray?” is it a cultural habit based off of where we grew up? Is it something we do when times get hard and we’re desperate enough? When it comes to our lives, and our work, one of the biggest dangers is forgetting the beauty and power of prayer that is interlaced into every single aspect of our lives.
For Orchard, we hold prayer as one of our key values for that very simple reason: because we believe it’s necessary for every single part of our ministry and our lives.
1 Chronicles 16:11 | Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
When we look all throughout Scripture, there is a continued narrative that we are not meant to navigate this life on our own. Scripture over and over beckons us to seek after the Lord, not only in reading His words through Scripture but by seeking Him through prayer.
1 John 5:14 | This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
So we pray because it’s necessary. We pray because we serve a God that gives us opportunities every day to bring him into our joy, our trials and our pain. And we pray because without Him, we truly can do nothing. I think John Piper communicates it best when he said, “Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing.” A Life without prayer means we believe we can take care of things on our own. That we have a firm enough grasp on the direction of our lives that we will only reach out when things get really bad. Instead, let us remember Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 3:7: | So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
I want to learn to pray with this desperation. That regardless of our gifts or our talents, the increase we see has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with Him. That’s why we pray.