Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why Bother to Pray?

Prayer - I have been pondering this simple/complicated discipline for a long time. The Lord graciously, gently, patiently teaches me - using His Word, the writings of others and the miraculous working of His Spirit in my heart and life.

I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot's book "Keep A Quiet Heart" as part of my devotions. The other day the passage was entitled "Why Bother to Pray?" I will admit that I have had that question cross my mind more than once. If God is in control and everything will be as He has ordained, why should I pray?

She gave three answers to that question:
1. "God has told us to pray." It is a commandment, and if we love Him, we obey His commands."

2. "...Jesus prayed."

Fair enough. I know these to be true. It ought to be enough to answer my question. It was the third reason, though, that pierced my heart.

3. "...prayer is a law of the universe. God ordained that certain physical laws should govern the operation of this world. Books simply will not stay put on a table without the operation of the law of gravity. There are spiritual laws as well. Certain things will not happen without the operation of prayer. God could cause books to stay on tables by what theologians call 'divine fiat.' Everything we pray for could occur in the same way, but that is not how things were arranged. Pascal, the great French thinker, said that in prayer God gives us the 'dignity of causality.'"
To think that "certain things will not happen without the operation of prayer" makes of my prayers something miraculous. I have much to learn in the way of spiritual things, but there is such beautiful simplicity in this.

The Father has told me to pray; Jesus prayed; the Father leans down to listen to me and He hears and answers. That is why I pray.



  1. Good thoughts - it is a subject that is sometimes more difficult than it should be.

    Are you having hot summer now?

  2. I too, at times, have wondered that same question, Linda. Like you, I have heard the first two, but the third is new to me. It's an interesting concept--prayer being a spiritual law. I find comfort knowing that our God is a God of order. And it makes sense that if there are physical laws governing the universe, there are spiritual laws as well. I'd be interested to know if Elizabeth E. talks further of other spiritual laws. Thank you for sharing.

  3. When I pray, I think of it more as a conversation with the God that I love. Asking Him for what I need is something I believe He wants me to do. It builds our relationship together and makes me to realize how dependent I am on Him.

  4. I love, love, LOVE the book Destined For the Throne. He talks about prayer like a partnership with Christ. Like God has made us "co-signers" with Christ, and that in order for His will to be accomplished we need to "sign" our assent, because He has made us part. I am not wording it well, it's late and I am tired, but I highly recommend the book. It's not just on prayer, it's on life being a training for a future in which we will reign with Christ. Awesome!

  5. is you that will receive Joy and Strength!! I sent you an email, but I'm wondering if I sent it to the wrong one again. Do you still have my email? If so, would you send me your address there?

    I know you will cherish this is a true treasure. I was excited when I drew your name:)

  6. Wow - that is very powerful, Linda. I have found myself praying through out the day. Some days I write the prayers in my journal, other days I 'just' have a conversation with God. I don't know if that is the proper way to pray...

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Linda.

  7. Great post about prayer. Thanks for stopping by my place. Always love it when you leave a comment (o:

  8. I love that book! We keep it in our hallway bathroom, on the shelf beneath the sink, for our guests to read when they're visiting--Elisabeth's writings never fail to inspire and challenge me! Thank you for posting this :)

  9. I read about teaching children to pray this week in "The Ministry of Motherhood". A few more reasons; we are in relationship with God and He enjoys hearing from us, it also makes our relationship with God stronger. I guess it also makes us stop and focus on God and be still. I am so glad you were held during your husband's examination and I am thankful that it went well.

  10. Hey Linda, I have been pondering and studying "prayer" by reading Andrew Murray's:
    "With Christ in the School of Prayer" and some other books on intercession.

    I've come to look at it as the "CIRCLE OF LIFE." I talk to Jesus, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father talking to Him for me, and then the Father answers back to me.

    Christ's job now is interceding for us, and if we are supposed to emulate Christ....then we should be intercessors, as well. Pray without ceasing.

    Just some thoughts that have been ruminating around. Don't know if they make sense to anyone else, or not.