What’s the point?

Todd

11 Comments

  1. July 8, 2009 at 11:33 am — Reply

    I think a mixture of both. Although I wouldn’t say our words thoughts and desires have the power to change God, but God of course can listen and respond..

  2. July 8, 2009 at 11:35 am — Reply

    unless you believe God predestined everything. then I guess it would just be an exercise, although even the exercise would be preordained.

  3. July 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm — Reply

    This has really got me thinking. Here are my first ideas, which I’ll probably have to expand upon later:

    First of all, God cannot be changed. He is constant and eternal [1].

    I believe prayer is important for many reasons.

    A close relationship with Him depends heavily on a prayerful life. Just as we would spend time with a friend, God yearns for us to spend time with Him and tell Him the mundane details about our days, as well as all of our needs [2]. He knows all of it before we speak, but taking the time to be still with Him shows our devotion to Him and the importance we place on our relationship. Also, when we are still and seeking His face, it is then that He speaks to us.

    I also believe daily – if not hourly – time spent in prayer with Him allows for a closer relationship with fellow Christians. When a friend asks me to pray for her and I go to our Father on her behalf, I am more sensitive to her needs and hurts. Without prayer I would probably not be as aware of her struggles.

    The Bible gives examples of God listening to His people’s prayers and granting their requests, even when it was not the best thing for them. Off the top of my head: when Israel wanted a king He knew it was not in their best interest but He gave them Saul, their first king [3].

    God has a plan for each of us [4] and has had one since before we were born. Learning His plan for me comes through prayer and reading His Word. To quote my pastor: “Prayer is the means by which He reveals His plans and hopes for us.”

    So, in a way, it is an exercise for our benefit, because walking in His light is always beneficial.

    [1] “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

    [2] “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything [emphasis mine], by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

    [3] 1 Samuel 8:4-16 (biblegateway.com)

    [4] ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ ” Jeremiah 29:11-13

  4. July 10, 2009 at 9:53 am — Reply

    I honestly don’t have any idea. This is something I wonder a lot.
    Specifically prayer for healing. I don’t understand it.

  5. Brad
    July 12, 2009 at 7:31 am — Reply

    I think there are a lot of spiritual benefits to prayer. Usually when someone asks “Why do you pray?” I hear people start listing off these spiritual benefits (things like feeling comforted, peaceful, etc…). But I’ve always felt that the actual point of prayer is to prompt God to act. A mind blowing concept really. In fact I think it seems so ridiculous that God in his holiness would respond to the prayers of one of us that we are inclined to not believe the promise. Instead we go forward with the exercise but do so just for the spiritual benefits, but with little to no expectation that it will have an impact on the outcome of the situation.

    But the promise of God is that our prayers do elicit a response, and that is exactly the point of petitionary prayer. To elicit a response. Of course that’s not the only type of prayer, and other kinds of prayer have other points to them that are more in line with spiritual growth and spiritual benefits. But that’s the kind most people ask the question about.

  6. July 13, 2009 at 11:07 am — Reply

    We need to talk to God.
    He likes to hear from us, even when He already knows what we need and what we’re going to ask for and sometimes how different those things are.
    It’s good for us to recognize from Whom all good things come, which we do when we ask for more or different.
    He listens because He loves us. He supplies and denies because He loves us.
    And when we recognize how giving He is, it should inspire us to reflect His love and generosity.
    Prayer can change His mind.
    Just ask Hezekiah.

  7. July 16, 2009 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    I think that prayer is an exercise in humility. One cannot make a request of God without first acknowledging that 1) He has the power to do what you are asking & B) You do not. I truly believe that to be the single most important aspect & reward of prayer.

  8. Cliff
    July 16, 2009 at 10:23 pm — Reply

    My opinion, formed through my experience, is thus:

    Prayer doesn’t DO anything.

    Prayer isn’t a thing like a potato or a camero.

    Prayer is a trust interaction with God.

    I trust things with God and trust whatever he does with those things, whatever the outcome.

    Again, prayer does NOT do anything, including changing God’s mind.

    God changes God’s mind and only God can.

    And even if he doesn’t, there I continue interacting with God in trust that whatever he chooses to do or not to do is best.

    cb

  9. July 29, 2009 at 2:46 am — Reply

    I think prayer is a conversation with God that serves many purposes. We thank Him, we ask Him for favor, we ask Him for guidence, etc. In that way we are asking God to act in some way, but I think, in the end, God does what is best for us or best in general. We can ask, but it doesn’t mean we will or should get what we ask for.

  10. Somchy
    August 4, 2009 at 6:55 am — Reply

    Me thinks prayer is a nice way to pass some time.

  11. February 19, 2010 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    unless you believe God predestined everything. then I guess it would just be an exercise, although even the exercise would be preordained.

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What’s the point?