Prayer holds in tension two thoughts; firstly, that if you ask, God will provide; secondly, we submit ourselves to God's sovereign will by saying "let your will be done". It is good to pray because it develops a relationship with God. We start to build dependence and, by praying, we are submitting ourselves to God's will. We align our thoughts with God's, so we do not ask for ourselves, we ask for those things we believe are in line with what God wants. There is something spiritual by intentionally, out of habit, praying to God on purpose and it creates an intimacy based on knowing God always wants the best for you. It builds our character, it allows us to articulate our feelings and it is a gift, which sometimes means we are changed and transformed because of our prayers. It allows us an openness to God to listen to what God wants to say to us.
There is another tension whereby God has given us free will, which means we can do what we want, and yet we know, ultimately, God is in control. We are not puppets, we make our own decisions and are accountable for the actions that we take; and yet, God is in control. We pray in this freedom and space between our free will and God's will ultimately being fulfilled.
Why pray? God demands it, Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer as a perfect model, it brings us closer to God. It aligns our thoughts with God and it allows God, even though he knows everything about us, to be aware of our concerns. By continual prayer, we are transformed. There are too many examples of prayers being answered for us not to use this spiritual communication to talk to a loving God who cares about us.
We are happy for you to use any material found here, however, please acknowledge the source: www.gantshillurc.co.uk
Rev'd Martin Wheadon