Why pray? What good does it do? Does God really listen or care?
If you’ve been to our Events page you’ve seen that we’re just starting our annual 14 Days of Prayer, and you might be wondering what that’s about or why we would do something like this.
While there have been countless books written, sermons preached, and opinions aired on what prayer is and why we should pray, it really comes down to the two people involved: God, and you. Following God is about a relationship, and a relationship demands conversation; prayer is simply the word we use to describe our conversations with God. And in any conversation there has to be give and take, speaking and listening. We tell God that we love Him, that He is worth our worship. We thank Him for our salvation and ask Him to help us walk through our days in a way that pleases Him. We thank Him for His goodness to us and ask Him to help with our own problems and others’. And then we listen. We settle into His arms and listen. We give Him room to speak into our hearts and minds, to share His words of comfort and hope and encouragement as well as constructive criticism and the occasionally needed reprimand.
And when we practice this habit of conversation with God, just like in any developing relationship, we get better at understanding what He is saying and we get more honest and real in what we share with Him.
Why pray? Because we want a real relationship with God, and that can’t happen without conversation. What good does it do? It builds that relationship and changes our attitudes and responses to the circumstances we are bringing to Him in those conversations. Does He really listen, or care? Oh, how pleased He is when we make time to talk to Him! Psalm 116:1-2 gives us a beautiful picture: “I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. 2Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
Are you interested in having more conversations with God? Make some time. Start with a few minutes in your morning before the rush of the day sets in, and share your day’s concerns, praises, and challenges with Him. And give Him a chance to respond.
If you’re hungry for more, consider joining us for the 14 Days of Prayer, Aug 5-18. Details are on the Events page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. We are gathering on Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays to pray together, and encouraging each other to watch the simulcast of the prayer services on the alternate days. Our focus this year is Vision 2020: Building Kids, Outreach, Community, and Discipleship, and we are asking our members to pray specifically for each of these areas at Lakes and Waterloo.
Pray for opportunities to reach our own children, grandchildren, and the children in and around our churches. Pray for our outreach efforts in our communities as we give hands and feet to the church and serve outside our buildings as well as in them. Pray for our churches to be places of discipleship, where we are not just seeking to make converts but true disciples of Jesus equipped to join us in the work God is calling us to.
Pray, and join us!