On Sunday, we discovered that Biblical prayer is almost always about asking God to do something He has already promised to do. When faced with this truth for the first time, we can be tempted to ask, “then what’s the point? Why pray if God is already going to do it?”
We saw three answers to that question in Sunday’s message, but there’s a fourth that we’ll explore here today. And it’s this: regularly praying for what God has promised keeps us aware of how much we need Him. It keeps us dependent upon Him. It keeps us from believing the lie (so often celebrated today) that we are enough.
Think about it this way: if God provided for our daily bread and forgave our sins and gave us strength and used us to advance the gospel without us ever praying for any of it, how long would it be until we began to think of ourselves as naturally strong and holy and effective people? How long would it be until we forgot about the Lord altogether?
But God knows what’s best for us. He knows that we need Him more than anything. He knows that our deepest satisfaction and joy will be found in relationship with Him, not in being super-charged, highly-efficient people. And so He doesn’t give us a lifetime supply of grace and strength all at once. He answers our requests in smaller doses than we’d prefer. He makes sure that we need to stay close to Him and never forget how much we need him.
In other words, He keeps us praying.
And so prayer repeatedly and continually highlights God as the source of all things. And when we think about it this way, we realize that prayer itself is an act of worship—an act of bringing glory to God.
Which means—get this—that prayer itself is an answer to that first request Jesus taught us: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).
What a thought. And what a reason to pray.