3 Big Purposes of Prayer
By Pastor Ray Dare
There are a lot of faulty misconceptions about prayer; a lot of ignorance about how prayer works and why we pray and when to pray. Some people think prayer is a magic wand. We kind of wave it at something and we get what we want. Some people think prayer is a first aid kit. For them, prayer is an act of desperation. It’s like the sign for the fire extinguisher: “Use only in emergency”. For some people, prayer is a tug of war where you have to beg and convince God to do something nice for you. The worst misconception about prayer is that prayer is simply a religious duty. The basic motivation behind prayer is guilt. If prayer is a duty for you, you have missed the total point of prayer. There are many purposes of prayer but here are the big three:
Prayer is an act of dedication. It is an opportunity to express our devotion to God and our dependence upon God. It is an act of dedicating ourselves, saying, “God, I need You”. The reason a lot of people don’t pray is because of the cost. It costs honesty. You have to be honest to God — “I admit I am inadequate. I am helpless. I need Your help in this situation.” Prayer is an act of dedication and a declaration of dependence: “God, I admit I have a need. I need Your help in my life.”
Prayer is an act of communication. Most of our problems in life are communication problems. You can’t understand a person in any relationship unless you communicate with them. You can’t understand God, God’s will for your life, unless you communicate with Him. We have a hard time believing that God is really interested in us. We can’t seem to comprehend that the Creator of the entire universe is interested in car payments, house payments, buying new clothes for the kids for school, the person at work who irritates you, the fact that you have back problems and everything else. When you fully discover how much God really loves you, prayer will no longer be a problem for you. Why? Because we love to talk to the people who love us the most. If you find prayer is a duty, a ritual, a routine that you don’t look forward to, it means you don’t understand how much God’s in love with you and how much He’s interested in everything that is of interest to you.
Prayer is an act of supplication. Supplication means a specific request. The Bible says,
“You have not because you ask not.” James 4:3 Over twenty times in the New Testament the Bible says, “Ask”. Ask, seek, knock, and keep on asking. There’s a story of a guy who died and went to Heaven. All over Heaven there were warehouses. Inside there were tremendous gifts, fantastic things, spiritual situations, homes, jobs, happy families, all kinds of neat gifts. The guy said, “Lord, what are all these gifts?” Jesus said, “There is a tag on every one of these gifts. All the tags say the same thing.” So he looks at a tag and it reads, “Never asked for.” What are you lacking in your life right now, simply because you’ve failed to ask God for it?
Prayer can change your life. You’re invited this Sunday to New Beginnings Church as we begin a new series on prayer. We’re going to talk about the secrets to answered prayer, how to pray for miracles, steps to making contact with God, what to do when your answer is delayed, and more.
See you Sunday,
New Beginnings Church
Sunday service at 10am
“We Do Church Differently”