Need/Purpose for Prayer?

I have a really simple question that has come to my mind many times over the years:

If God knows what is best for us, if God knows what we are going to ask before we even ask for it, what is the need for prayers of petition?

Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter if I ask for healing, or some other thing in my life. I start to think, “God knows what I need, and He knows what I’d ask for before I even ask it… so why ask? He already knows…”

Basically, what I’m saying is… if it is God’s will if I be cured… then he will cure me… so why even ask?

Thank you for bringing up this topic. I have been struggling with your question for years.

If you say to yourself, “God knows what I need, and He knows what I’d ask for before I even ask it… so why ask? He already knows…”, and then you don’t ask, He will have known before you were born what you needed, but that you weren’t going to ask for it, and might not bother!

But my conclusion is that, for me at least, it is best to spend most of my time with prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, and the rosary, and very little time with specific petitions. Nevertheless I feel that it is good to go through all of them once a day “just for the record”. :slight_smile:

I think it could be because our acts are important and we have to physically commit to something.

Mary had to say ‘Yes’ to God for the Incarnation to happen. Using the same logic you mentioned regarding petitions, you could say that it was God’s will that Jesus be born from Mary so there was no need for her to say yes - yet we know that she did have to say yes.

Prayer of petition & asking for specific things (e.g. healing) are important because (a) the person is making a commitment about their desire for healing or whatever, and (b) it is humbling & acknowledges our dependence on God. When we stop asking for something we start to take it for granted & besides it’s common courtesy (would you be less polite to God than to another person).

I heard once that sometimes God seems to change his mind based on our prayers. Of course, what actually is happening is not that he changes his mind, but that he has two plans, one if we don’t ask him for something, and one for if we do.
In the Bible, Abraham’s prays for the sake of the righteous people in Sodom, and God responds by agreeing not to destroy Sodom if there are even ten righteous people in the city (Genesis 18).
At one point, God tells Moses He will destroy Israel and make a new covenant with Moses. Moses pleads with God to remember His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God does not destroy the Israelites.
Jesus often asks us to pray for what we need. He says that “your Father in heaven [will] give good things to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).
I believe it was Pascal who said God gave us petitionary prayer to give His creatures the dignity of being causes.

Dear friend

Prayers of petition are a Work of Mercy and God desires that we ask for ourselves and for others ‘Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find’ This doesn’t mean we ask for what we think is good for ourselves or for others, but we ask for God’s Will. So we say ‘Please heal ‘Fred’ Lord if it is your Will’, it is the FAITH, LOVE and INTENT that God looks toward in the heart of the person when at prayer, not the words or fancy long speeches.

God desires we partake in our own salvation and that of others, that we are happy here with Him as well as happy with Him in the next life ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven’ We have to WILL the Kingdom of God and invite Him into our lives and the lives of others, He will gift to those who seek Him in love and faith and for such a soul He will grant favours but only to His Holy Will. If we are seeking His Will, we shall receive it. When we do receive, we should always offer prayers of thanksgiving, praise and adoration.

Prayer is not only a conversation with God, it is a life lived with God, in constant communion with Him and when we live life as a prayer we live in God’s Will and God’s Presence.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=James_2:24]I have a really simple question that has come to my mind many times over the years:

If God knows what is best for us, if God knows what we are going to ask before we even ask for it, what is the need for prayers of petition?

Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter if I ask for healing, or some other thing in my life. I start to think, “God knows what I need, and He knows what I’d ask for before I even ask it… so why ask? He already knows…”

Basically, what I’m saying is… if it is God’s will if I be cured… then he will cure me… so why even ask?
[/quote]

Because we are created for communion with God.

God needs nothing from us - we need everything we receive from God. Prayer is not a means of telling God what He knows, but of opening ourselves to God (and so, to our neighbours).

Prayer helps us prepare for the life we hope to inherit in its fulness, by showing us how to grown into the reactions we should have to God: such as

Adoration
Confession
Thanksgiving
Supplication

Hope this helps ##

Because those who love each other, share themselves with each other even if they are already known to the other person.

I think it is also because God gave us free will. We can choose to have a relationship with Him or not. We can choose to communicate with Him or not. We can choose to help others with our prayers or not.

Also, we know that God has infinite mercy and grace. But He waits for us to ask for it, He doesn’t force it on us. So the more we pray for ourselves and for others, the more His floodgates of mercy open wide for all of us!

This is, in part, the purpose of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy – to open those floodgates for us and for the whole world!

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