Prayer is for us
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James Chapter 4:2 (NIV)
I have heard people question why we pray. Prayer is for Us. The argument is, if God knows everything and plans our lives, knowing our every move, what good is prayer when He knows what He is going to do anyway? Yet I know that prayer changes things; I have seen it. How do we reconcile these two things? Prayer is for us.
Prayer is for us. It connects us to God. When we talk to Him, we get to know Him. When I kneel before God in prayer, I open up a dialog with Him. God speaks to us in many ways. One way is through our thoughts. I have never heard the audible voice of God, yet as I pray, I will “hear” Him in my mind. Things will become instantly clear; I will “hear” instructions.
Several years ago, my daughter went to Europe on a school trip. The dates of this trip overlapped the dates of our youth camp, which she wished to attend. The youth leaders chose the only possible choice that might allow her to go – the last week. One morning in my prayer time, as I was praying that she might get to go, God interrupted me (which He usually has to do to get my attention) saying, “Sign her up and pay [for camp].” Prayer is for us.
I sat up saying, what? My faith is weak when it comes to making bold moves such as this, not because I fear for God’s reputation, but because I fear for my own. What if I step out in faith and say God told me to do this I risk looking foolish? Well, I am happy to report that I did it anyway. I told one of the leaders what God said and told her to sign my daughter up.
Shortly thereafter, we attended the final planning meeting for the trip. Our eyes grew wide as we began to read the last minute instructions and finalized dates. She would be back home two days before camp started! We missed quite a bit of the meeting as she was trying not to cry and I was trying to keep from running around the room shouting. Prayer is for us.
This is why I say prayer is for us, to build our faith. God did not need our prayers to do what He did, but by allowing us to be part of the process He was teaching us things, like obedience. He told me to sign her up. Would the outcome have been the same had I not done that? I do not know, but by doing so, I gained confidence that I had heard from God and I did not need to fear the outcome.
He teaches us to bring our requests to Him, and to leave things in His hands. Worry does not accomplish anything, but prayer does make a difference. We learn to trust and obey Him. No decision is too small to bring to God. We do not bother God with our requests; we honor Him by obeying His instructions to cast all of our cares upon Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Prayer is for us.
Read more from James Chapter 4 – Resist the Devil
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