7509 - The Purpose of Prayer

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Audio transcript

A few programs ago we talked about ‘What Is The Purpose Of Life’?, we found that man was created so that fellowship could be enjoyed between God and mankind.

Today we ask the question: “What Is The Purpose Of Prayer?”

One thing necessary in any relationship is communications. Well friend, prayer is the name given to the process of communication between God and man.

So Biblical prayer is communication with God; it is crying out to God out of the depths of the heart; it’s pouring out your soul before God. Believers’ prayer is the inspiring experience of conversing and sharing with God as our loving heavenly Father, our creator. Few experiences so empower and lift Christian to deal with problems.

Prayer may include a dimension of:
• wrestling with God,
• of pleading with God,
• yes, even of fussing with God.

But prayer also includes praise of God,
• of thanking God in appreciation for every facet of his dealing with us,
• and of celebration and joy

We are to be honest with God. How could we ever hide our true thoughts from our omniscient maker? There is also the dimension of submission and acceptance, of confidently agreeing with God. In prayer God may quiet our hearts and purify our desires and attitudes.

It’s very important that we should view prayer not as a battle to change God’s mind, but as an opportunity for Him to change ours, to bring our thoughts into agreement with His thoughts about events which face us in our life. It is important that we remember that conversation is two way, so let us have listening ears, and friend, in many prayers He is the one who does most of the talking.

Prayer is not dependent upon position, form or technique. One may pray kneeling beside the bed; but may also pray prone on our face before God. Have you considered that we may also pray with our eyes open as we drive down a highway or walk along a sidewalk? We may even pray at church – perhaps with a friend who is hurting and needs encouragement.

One might ask, “What is the purpose of prayer?” God has a great interest in the welfare of those who trust in His son, Jesus Christ. He wants them to have a full, meaningful, abundant life which is lived to the hilt on the spiritual plane. Since prayer is a conversation between two people who love each other dearly, then God’s ear is tuned and He is willing to listen and answer in a way which will bring the greatest benefit to His child and His kingdom. God wants to hear from our lips those things that weigh on our heart, as well as those things that make us joyful.

One should never view prayer as a magic talisman which will bring to the possessor the fulfillment of earthly dreams. God’s purpose for life extends through eternity. Omniscient God knows that some requests are not beneficial in fulfilling His eternal purpose for us. Sovereign God is then free to give something better or to withhold that which would interfere with our spiritual growth. Keep in mind that His infinite love is never in question even when He says ‘no’ or ‘wait awhile’ to our request.

It seems God is far more interested in the attitude of the heart of the person who is talking with Him than He is in the immediate request which is being voiced. As long as a person comes to God with a pure heart which is willing and open to God’s divine direction, then God hears and responds.
If a Christian holds onto a known sin in his life, and refuses to confess and repent, then we experience silence from God. John (9:31) says, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.” The Bible teaches that the only prayer from an unbeliever that the Lord hears is the cry from the heart of a repentant sinner who is seeking God’s saving mercy.

Remember: “Pray constantly.” (1 Thes 5:17). Keep the lines of communication open at all times.