Prayer is truly a gift from God. The ability to communicate with God at any time and any place is amazing. But do I really need to pray? Isn’t God all-knowing and all-powerful? Why does he need me to pray?
I find it easy to come to God with my prayers when I am in great need. When someone I know is hurting, I pray to God asking for help for them. I pray before meals and when I have my devotions. Lately, I have been challenging myself not only to make prayer more than just a routine or a habit, but also to interweave it in my day. I have been praying to God to open my eyes to see him throughout my day in order to recognize His voice and His presence. This reminds me of the story of Samuel and Eli (1 Samuel 3: 1-9). I pray that I recognize God’s voice in my day. It could be the way my devotions touch my heart. It might be in a song I hear on the radio or in an encouragement from a friend. It might be a thought God puts in my head that someone may need a meal or encouragement from me. I find that when I communicate with God throughout my day, I am more likely to hear and listen to His nudges during my day, leading me to action (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).
Are you a worrier? I am certainly guilty of worrying. I worry about the weather. I worry about my family. I worry about those who are sick or sad or lonely. Sometimes, the “what ifs” of life are so powerful. I have come to the realization that worrying is not from God, and it needs to stop. Easy to say, but hard to do. So, I have been trying to get myself in the habit of praying when I want to worry. I also ask God to help me identify when I am worrying and nudge me to pray. I am learning to share my heart with God and to trust that He loves those that I love. I find I am better equipped to trust when I immerse myself in God’s Word. The Psalms are so helpful in this because they are often the out-crying of God’s people—sometimes in anxiety and fear, sometimes in awe and wonder. When I read Psalm 105, I am reminded to recount what God has done for me. God’s faithfulness is a part of my life, just as it was a part of the life of the Israelites thousands of years ago. God’s promises to the Israelites were fulfilled. God’s promises to me will also be fulfilled.
I don’t believe God needs my prayers. I don’t believe prayer changes God. But, when I come to God in prayer, more often than not, I am changed. God wants to know me and he wants me to know Him. God often uses prayer to pull me closer to Him, to shape me into who He wants me to be. I think one of the best things about prayer is that it is always there. God is available 24/7 for me; I just have to pray.