Prayer: Why it is good

Our series, “Delighting in Trinitarian Prayer” continues today as we look more at prayer and why it is good to pray. As we discussed in the previous post, prayer is what helps us connect with the Almighty. It allows us to talk things over with Him and discuss life, including our trials, hardships and joys. Prayer is one of the most useful and greatest tools a Christian has, yet it often times goes unused. Hopefully, this will help us to see the importance of prayer and remember that prayer is a two way conversation, not just a one way. 

Why Pray

God is our inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. We admit our poverty and desperate need for God and His abundance. “Prayer highly exalts and glorifies God precisely by pursuing everything we long for in Him, and not in ourselves.”[1] Prayer is one of the main ways a Christian can stay in fellowship with God and it allows the Christian to ask God the Father for anything they think they might need (John 15:7, 16). Jesus promises that those prayers will be answered if offered in Jesus’ name and in accordance to the will of God. Prayer is a way to “call upon me [God] in that day of trouble” (Psalm 50:15) and “cast all our anxieties” (1 Pet 5:7) on God as we seek His help.

Although acts of kindness and service are a necessary part of Christian life, they must always be informed by prayer, which is the highest form of Christian action. Donald Bloesch writes, “It can be said that the glory of God is the goal of prayer; social service is the fruit or consequence of prayer.”[2] Prayer is a crucial means God uses to bring us to understand the church’s task. Through prayer bathed in the Scriptures, we discern God’s will in the situations we face….as we petition the coming of God’s rule, the Spirit illumines our minds to see what the will of God might mean for the social structures of our world.”[3]

Prayer helps the believer to pursue God’s glory in service and submission, pursue the joy only found in God, and empowers the believer to love. But prayer is more than just those key ideas or concepts; it also provides resources for battle against spiritual warfare.[4]  “Prayer is a walkie-talkie for warfare, not a domestic intercom for increasing our conveniences. The point of prayer is empowering” for a believers mission (Col 4:3; Rom 15:30-31; 2 Thes 3:1; Matt 9:38).[5] Paul declares that life is a battle not against flesh and blood but against the dark world and the evil spiritual forces (Eph 6:12). He encourages the believer to put on the “full armor of God” to fight and “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Eph 6:18). A key result of prayer is invoking the Spirit’s presence into the life of a Christian to fight the daily battles, empowering them in their ministry.

[1] Donald Bloesch, God the Almighty, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 231.

[2] Donald G Bloesch, The Struggle of Prayer, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980), 131-32.

[3] Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, 509.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Piper, Desiring God, 178.

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3 thoughts on “Prayer: Why it is good

  1. Our Father is the vine and we are the branches. A branch without the vine withers and dies, so are we with no prayer life. It is impossible to live as Jesus did and live an overcoming life unless we gain the Holy Spirit and power through prayer. Love it. Thanks for the post!

    • Great analogy and use of the vine and branches verse Nick! You are so right, it is absolutely impossible to live as Jesus lived without prayer. It is such a vital component of a Christian’s life. Thanks for the comment!

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