Three Reasons We Pray

Most people pray, but why – especially since so often we don't get what we pray for? 

One obvious reason is that "getting" is only one among many reasons we pray. For example, we also pray for relief, comfort, understanding, sensing God's presence, and worship. You will of course think of many other reasons to add to this list. 

Second, we may not get what we pray for, but we do always get an answer. Sure, it's often, "No." But sometimes it's, "Maybe later." And very often the answer is, "Yes." C.S. Lewis combined with Blaise Pascal to help us understand that, because prayer is more powerful than labor, if we always got what we asked for we would destroy ourselves. To grasp this we only need to think of the little child asking to play with matches–or a loaded gun, so utterly despondent when daddy or mommy says, "No." We understand that when we pray we have a child's understanding.

Third, and importantly, we each have what Martin Luther called the divinitatus sensum – a sense of the divine, or the "divine instinct." It's universal. We're hard-wired to want a connection, a relationship, even an intimacy with the Father who made us. Prayer lets us not only communicate, but commune with Him. Who wouldn't want to experience the presence of God?

Until every church disciples every man...

Pat