“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” - Matthew 26:41
Why do people pray?
People pray for a great many reasons. The typical reason would be to request God for things, whether material or immaterial. Other reasons include praise and worship, thanksgiving, dedication, seeking wisdom, and sometimes spiritual realignment. Perhaps the least used purpose is to converse with God in order to deepen our relationship.
As a Christian, we are taught that salvation is dependent upon your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As with any relationship, communication is the key. It is wise to remember that we do not have to have a problem or a project just so you can visit our fathers or our mothers. So it is with our heavenly Father. Sometimes, you don’t have to speak, simply just being, walking with God is enough. A good personal relationship with God will help keep you from temptations.
Prayer also does have a positive psychological effect. Prayer strengthens faith and gives peace of mind. A petition prayer shared with others has the effect of lightening emotional burdens. A prayer of dedication gives a sense of solidarity, of responsibility. A prayer of thanksgiving keeps the mind in a positive mood.
Prayer in itself, is not meant to be a selfish action. Having to become attuned to the will of the Father, it will become apparent that the things that our Father would want and that we often should pray for, would be the well-being of others spiritually, emotionally and physically. Perhaps it is best summed up in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Therefore, let us all pray for one another, banding together to lift each other up and support each other in our walk with Christ.
Questions for Study:
1. How do we foster a deeper relationship with our parents and siblings? How does this translate towards our relationship with God and our brothers/sisters in the faith?
2. Is it wrong to pray for one’s own needs? Is it alright to pray for someone’s misfortune?
3. Why do we have to pray for our enemies?
Additional Reading: Matthew 5:43-48, James 5: 15-16, Psalm 116