Why Prayer?

Ever wonder why Christians are admonished to pray? There are many places where the Bible tells us to pray. Matthew 7 says to ask (and keep on asking) and it will be given.

Doesn’t God know our needs before we’re even aware of them? Doesn’t He have provision made before we even ask? If He already knows all this, why does He expect us to pray? Why should I ask Him to heal me if he already knows my health needs? Why should I pray for a job if He already knows I need a job.

Does God need to be reminded of our needs? Does He have memory problems? I don’t think so. If He’s omniscient, that means He knows everything. And if He knows everything, He must never forget anything. So that can’t be the reason for all the prayer admonishment.

When I went to visit a friend with health problems recently, he and I and another friend were discussing this phenomenon. This man was thanking me, and my Sunday School class through me, for keeping him in our prayers, which is what brought up the subject. God is certainly aware of the man’s health situation, and yet we all three knew our prayers were important.

We concluded that the reason God wants us to pray about almost everything we do or need is not that He needs to hear it but that WE NEED to do it. We need to keep ourselves reminded that He is our source. If He just provided all our needs without any action on our part, it would be easy for us to forget Him and just begin thinking we get our needs met because WE deserve it. Our prayers keep our focus on Him and off our own abilities. Our prayers force us to recognize Him as the source of all we have.

Have you ever wondered about this—why God wants us to pray? What’s your take on this? Our readers love to hear from you, and so do I.


If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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10 Responses to Why Prayer?

  1. violafury says:

    I saw this topic when I was looking at your WordPress award nominees and knew this would be my next stop. I was raised Catholic and taught by Jesuits. We had many discussions about typical theological things, but we also were encouraged to ask; ask the teachers anything. One day, when I was about 12, the talk turned to God-consciousness. The priest told me, “You don’t need me to intercede on your behalf with God. You are a seeker, go do it.”

    There have been times in my life when I felt bereft, that God had left me, yet it was I who left Him. I was homeless for a time, and during that time, I began to look for the clarity and relationship I once had with God, and through His grace, I did. He is ever-present. I pray, talk, and need that. We all do. When I saw the title of your topic, I knew what I was going to say, but you had beat me to it. This is a wonderful post, David. Thank you.


  2. Interestingly enough, this was last Sunday’s sermon. He pointed out that God promises to give us what we need, not necessarily what we want. He also pointed out that Jesus spent a good amount of HIS time on this earth praying for his disciples and the world in general as our intercessor with his father. It was his way of feeling close to him…of sharing his thoughts and feelings. Even as he sits at God’s right hand, he’s constantly interceding on our behalf…not that the father doesn’t already know everything…but as a way of keeping the communication lines open both ways.

    Plus, the more we do it, the less selfish our prayers become. I think maybe through prayer we start to see ourselves better, too. We become less selfish because it reminds us that God’s not only there for the hard times or the emergencies… he’s there every time we make the decision to let him in. Like you said, prayer is for us…not just for the asking of things, but for the pure love and communication and peace we get when we spend time on our knees….even when some prayers go unanswered.


  3. JT says:

    I agree with you and your friends’ assessment, David: we pray to remind ourselves that we need God. Great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  4. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Praying turns my thoughts to God and gives me great peace. It truly has a calming and soothing effect on me, and refreshes my soul.


  5. Shea Ford says:

    Yep! Praying definitely benefits us! I find it especially helpful at night to get my boys to be calm and relaxed and ready to sleep. God most certainly knew what He was doing! Praying has a way of centering us and helps to keep issues of life in perspective.


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