Recently, we had several things happen in, and around, our family that have been trying. Mostly, these things involve health issue. One disturbing situation is COVID-19 that put my 91-year-old mother in the hospital in serious condition. In light of all these things happening at one time, I've been asked, "Why do we pray when God already knows what's going on." Some believe in predestination (it's all in God's plan is predetermined to happen). In those cases, why pray at all if God has already predestined the outcome?
Various trials happen to us all. I heard Pastor Rick Warren said, "If you're not in a trial, just wait, it's coming". And, so it is life. Very distressing trials pop into our lives unexpectedly. Often, the Christian's response is, "Just pray about it." Well, that's true, but why do we pray about it?
I've always been taught, and fully believe, that prayer is the answer. I've had a lot of answered prayers and seen what I believe to be absolute miracles, but I've also had unanswered prayers. Why pray if the all-knowing God already knows our need and the outcome? The requests that God doesn't answer can leave hearts weakened and full of questions. So, why do we pray?
When we ask God to realign our world, will he? Does our faith in God hang on his goodness in answering our prayer? It shouldn't, but sometimes mine has faltered. There have been times when I was shattered because God didn't realign my world the way I thought he should.
The heart of prayer has a purpose and that's to meet with Jesus, to honor and extol his name that is above every name (Phil 2:9). The benefit we derive from prayer is that we have full access to our Heavenly Father through Christ. According to John 15:7, prayer is the process by which we abide in Him.
To me, prayer is the foundation on which our faith grows. If we don't pray, our faith will lack substance; no foundation; no experience to look back on; no hook to hang our hope on. If I believe what happens is all predetermined and I have no choice in the matter, my foundation could be shaken at the death of a loved one or economic devastation.
We pray because it gives us hope. We pray because hope is built on experience. We pray because Jesus prayed. Even when he healed the lame, sick and diseased, he prayed. I believe the all-knowing, all-loving God has not only my best interest, but yours, in mind. Our faith is built on the fact that God's love supersedes every circumstance. That's why we pray.
We also pray because prayer transforms our hearts and souls through the work of the Holy Spirit giving us the ability to deal with the situation with more faith.