Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, NKJV)

In yesterday’s devotion we talked about the pattern of prayer and the necessity of consistent prayer. Today let’s think more about why we should pray.

What Is Prayer?

What is prayer and when did people begin to pray?

According to, prayer is “personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, esp in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving.” To put it into simpler terms, prayer is holding a conversation with God, just like we would converse with any friend. Only two people are involved in this conversation—you and God. Prayer is completely personal.

By our simple definition of prayer as conversation, then prayer began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. But the first reference to prayer is found in Genesis 4:28. “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” From earliest times, men and women have prayed.

Why Pray?

If God understands all about us and knows our innermost thoughts, why do we need to pray? Doesn’t He already know what we need? There are many reasons why prayer is essential to our walk with the Lord. Let’s search the scriptures to see what God’s Word says about the importance of prayer.

I offer worship when I pray. My prayers of love, adoration, and thanksgiving rise up before the Lord. “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” (Psalm 141:2, ESV).

Prayer allows me to build a deep, personal relationship with the Lord. Just think, I am conversing with the One who created me and made me in Him image. Prayer draws me into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8, ESV).

Prayer draws me to complete honesty with God. If I am not transparent with Him, I hinder the growth of our intimacy. He expects and appreciates my honesty. “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6, ESV).

I withstand trials and temptations through prayer. Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41, ESV).

Prayer helps me find His direction for my life. “That the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do” (Jeremiah 42:3, NKJV).

God comes to my defense when I pray. He intervenes in my behalf. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17, ESV).

Prayer encourages me. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1, NKJV).

Yes, life is busy, and we feel the stress of trying to get everything done. But we must never be too busy to pray. Nor should we ever consider prayer a drudgery or a duty to be checked off our to-do list for the day. Prayer is a divine appointment to commune with our Creator. Time with Him will relieve our stress and bring joy and peace into our life. E. M. Bounds, 19th century author on prayer, described it as a rare delight. What an apt description of our time with God!

“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.”
— E.M. Bounds

Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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