Day 1: Prayer: What is the point?

Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. Psalm 86:6 (NIV)

I am going to be writing about prayer this week. I’ve been doing a lot of it lately.

Day 1: What is the point?

Does God intervene in my daily life?

Are His promises made just to grow me spiritually on how I respond to events and not actually change the events themselves?

If God has plans and knows our needs, why should I spend hours trying to change His mind?

Why pray? Because Jesus did.

Jesus prayed in times of trouble. He prayed for 40 days in the desert, went through torturous temptation from Satan, and then began His ministry. He prayed such in Garden Gethsemane as to produce sweat like blood! He prayed on the cross. He knew what it felt like to receive no answer to his cries.

Jesus prayed about the common things in life – but not trivial stuff. In Matthew 6 (the Lord’s prayer) he spoke of food enough for each day, temptation, and broken relationships.

Jesus prayed as a spiritual recharging. He is shown in gospels to ‘go away’ to ‘solitary places’, the mountains, and gardens to pray or have conversations with the Father.

Jesus’ prayers seem very intense around key event sin His life: He was baptized after 40 days of prayer. He prayed all night before choosing the twelve disciples. He drew apart just before the Transfiguration. John 17 gives Jesus’ longest and most intense prayer just before He died.

Prayer is not about telling God things He does not know. It is not telling God things He has forgotten. God already cares for the things that I pray about. Maybe He was just waiting for me to care about them with Him. When I am praying, I am there with God looking at these people or the situations and have the opportunity to look from His perspective. When I am praying, I lift my eyes to God and, like talking with close friends, I can speak freely, knowing I will not be judged on content but given a safe place to ‘tell all’ and still be loved.

Hear my prayer, O LORD: let my cry for help come to you.

Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.

Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:1-2 (NIV)

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2 (NIV)

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