How can I explain the "point" of prayer?


#1

I was discussing prayer with a Protestant friend. She said that she doesn’t believe in praying for things/people, because God knows everything and doesn’t need our help to tell Him about situations, and that it wouldn’t be fair for Him to help person A but not person B just because someone prayed for person A. Therefore, she believes we shouldn’t pray for help/pray for people/etc.

I know this isn’t right, but I’m having a hard time explaining why. Does anyone have any tips, or know of any articles/tracts/etc. to explain this?

Thanks!


#2

Well, The Lord’s prayer includes a petition for help. Jesus tells us to persevere in prayer. Remember the parable about the unjust judge? How could any Bible-believing Christian think that praying for help or for others is useless? Also, all forms of prayer help us develop a deeper relationship with God.


#3

Thanks, Jim. That’s a good point about the Lord’s Prayer. This friend says she’s Christian but I’m not sure how “Bible-believing” she is, based on other things she’s said.


#4

Prayer has many points, just like talking.

Does the only time she talks to some one means shes asking for something? No

Does she ever ask “favors” of anyone? Probably.

Has she ever asked anyone for help? I’m gonna say yes.

To God were all kids, and most kids only run into problems when they stop asking there parents for help.

An this also sounds like your friend is self-centered. The whole idea of saying GOD knows what i /people need so why doesnt he just give it to them, speaks from a place arrogance.

Your friend probaly needs to first learn how to humble herself then she’ll see it’s easier to ask for herself and others.


#5

I agree with the others here, but would add that Jesus said himself that God already knows us, and knows what we’re going to ask - Matthew 6:8-9 “…Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven…” And yet He tells us to pray anyway.

Again I agree - prayer is a way of humbling yourself before God. And God is not unfair. He knows who needs what, far more than we do. God answers prayers, but sometimes the answer is “no”.

I do think her attitude seems to be one of immature faith.


#6

Another good example of this is:
Mark 10:46-52 Bartimae’us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae’us, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."
And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus. And **Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” **And the blind man said to him, “Master, let me receive my sight.” And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well."He wants us to articulate our prayers to Him even though He knows.


#7

Try an argument from common experience.

Many of us talk to our parents regularly. Why do we do it?

Our parents know we love them, do they not? So why do we need to say it?

Many times, when I called my father (since passed away), he knew what I would ask him before I asked. A son in college who asks to speak to his father right around Christmas break is going to be asking for money in some form or fashion, right?

And yet he didn’t simply send the check without talking to me.

Why not?

There are mysteries in life, but this is not one of them.

The common thread in all of these questions is a relationship.

We pray to God because we have a relationship with Him.

We pray to God not because He needs us to, but because we need to.


#8

Prayer is for us, not for God. Through prayer God can expand our heart so that there is room for even more of his grace.


#9

Beautifully said, Teflon!!! :clapping:


#10

Just had another thought…

You said that your friend doesn’t believe in praying for things or people. But does she pray to **praise **God? (It isn’t all about “us”, right?!)

And if we pray for others, aren’t we simply showing compassion? Jesus told us to love our neighbour as ourself. Are we being loving by *not *praying for them? Didn’t Jesus pray for his friend Lazarus?

(Alright, I’m tired and thinking in circles, so I apologize if this makes no sense! LOL Goodnight y’all!)


#11

Our Lord prayed and showed us the example we should follow. He Himself often went to pray as evidenced by these scripture verses:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35 NIV)

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles (Luke 6:12-13 NIV)

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16 NIV)

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” (Luke 9:18-20 NIV)

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:39-42 NIV)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34 NIV)


#12

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