Why pray?


How do we reconcile complete trust in God and the need for prayer? If we are to abandon ourselves to God’s providence, then why do we need to pray and fast earnestly? If we trust that whatever happens God will use for good, then why do we need to pray for particular outcomes? Do we pray just so that we could trust more? Do we pray to wrestle with God? St. Paul says to “pray without ceasing,” but can’t we just leave everything to God and be at peace? Thank you for your insights.


Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

Praying is also talking to God. It is good to talk to you father in heaven.

When you pray, you ask God for help. In doing so you also realize what help you need.

How can God answer your prayers if they are never asked…


My :twocents: is that I think of prayer as a conversation. The only way you get to know someone is through conversation. And prayer is our conversing with God. We can speak to Him first bringing our joys, sufferings, etc and then let Him answer us in the way He will. Other times, He will speak to us first, whether its a bolt of lighting-sort-of-thing or a simple tug at our hearts. And buh-lieve me, He does speak to us…more than we know! :slight_smile:

Hope you understand a bit better! The only way you can understand how God is calling you to love your life is through growing closer to Him…and we do that through prayer and time set aside for Him!


As already mentioned, prayer is conversation. God does not change. It is we who change when we pray. We allow God to work in our life.
Yes, God knows our needs. Our expectant prayer is our response to God’s grace. It is an expression of our faith that God will provide for our needs.


Well, try to look at it this way. You have a best friend. Would you ever consider NOT talking to your best friend? Of course not! :wink:

Prayer is simply conversation with God. It is maintaining a relationship with your Best Friend! It can take many forms. The highest of these is the Mass. You can pray by simply talking casually, with Him. Or by formal prayer (the Rosary, etc.). You can sing to God, as a form of prayer. And you can offer your daily activities to Him, as a form of prayer.

I like this story very much. Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey used to take his violin, and go sit before the Tabernacle… and play his violin for Jesus. Isn’t that awesome!

Listen here, to Fr. Solanus playing the violin:


God bless you!


Well, if my best friend didn’t talk to me…then yeah, I’d eventually stop talking.


Dear Rico… I guess on a human level, I agree; but thankfully, God does talk to us! :yup: He speaks to us through Sacred Scripture and through His Vicar, the Pope… through the teachings of the Catholic Church; through the lives of the saints and through His ministers, priests… deacons… religious… etc.

St. Francis of Assisi used to have a practice… whenever he wondered what the Lord wanted to say to him, he would open the Sacred Scriptures and flip randomly through the pages… and stop on a single passage. That was what God was saying to him, at that moment.

God bless!


There are different ways that God does talk to us. Are we willing to listen? Sometimes it is an insight into situation that we would not otherwise have. It may come in the “prompting of the Spirit.” What is your gut telling you regarding a certain situation?
Again, the result of prayer is not a God who changes. It is a God who changes us even as our prayer changes over time. Prayer is more than the rote repetition of memorized formulas.
There are times I have been angry with God, just as I might be with a good friend. He can handle it. The end result is that He wins every argument. I am glad that He does.


God chooses to use us as cooperators in His plan of salvation. He wants our wills to be united with His, directed towards the same goal of turning all mankind back to Him. This is accomplished in little ways and big as we petition Him for our needs and the needs of others. If not for the importance of our wills to be united in word and deed with His, there would be no reason or purpose for the whole drama of this life, including the fall, where man originally turned away from God, acting against His will, and redemption, where God lowers Himself to save us in spite of our lack of faith in and love for Him and begins a work of conversion/regeneration in us.


Hello, :tiphat:

    According to the catholic cathism, prayer is raising up our hearts and minds to God. communicating to God the father is highly recomended to every child of God. Communicating in the soul for we are of his image and likeness. It remains one of the satisfying attitude of a christain that strives to live a devoted live. It lies on the area we look at it from, because the reasons for prayer is best known to every individual who comes to understand what the need is to pray. I think still, that the best way to pray is saying the 'ABBA FATHER'.:)       



I believe that I am willing to listen, but, since I don’t hear him, I guess I have to assume that I am not willing to listen, or that he is not talking.

Sometimes it is an insight into situation that we would not otherwise have. It may come in the “prompting of the Spirit.” What is your gut telling you regarding a certain situation?

Why so…subtly? Why speak to me in a way that can be easily dismissed, or confused with something much more commonplace? It would seem reasonble that if he has something to say, he would say it in such a way that there can be no mistake that he is speaking to me.


If God hit you over the head with a two-by-four you would listen. But how much faith would it require from you?

You are speaking as someone very self centered. Something is required from you, not required from God. You should dig deep within yourself to find out what God is saying to you. I think you know. Do you want to hear it???


I don’t have a bible at my desk, but I do have a calculator. I decided to see if God wanted to speak to me via numbers…so I closed my eyes, and smashed the palm of my hand into the calculator. When I opened my eyes, i was surprised to see only a single digit on the LCD --“6”-- Now I cannot be certain if this is just a random occurance, of if it has some significance, or if God or someone is trying to tell me something, but I would imagine that if it does have some significance, than it is not good for me. (This is 100% true, I actually did this).


This sounds pretty shallow…

You have a computer at your desk. You have the whole internet to find some answers. Start with catholic.com/

You also can close your eyes and pray. Ask God about what is going on in your life. You can even ask God to have faith that he exists.

Please don’t wait until that two-by-four comes cracking down upon your skull.


I may be self-centered, but I am not seeing this discussion as evidence of it. If I try to impart my will to my daughter by quietly whispering under my breath while she is in a completely different room, is it her fault that she doesn’t hear me? Is she self-centered b/c my instruction were more or less, indiscernable (sp?). Granted, she may be distracted by the computer, or her Ipod, or by reading a book, or TV or something…and she isn’t actively listening for me. But knowing this, I realize that she is never going to hear me if I continue to sit in the other room and whisper. So if I really want my daughter to hear me, I will get up and go to where she is and speak her name to get her attention, ensuring that she is listening before giving my instructions.

Something is required from you, not required from God.

What would that be?

You should dig deep within yourself to find out what God is saying to you. I think you know. Do you want to hear it???

Sorry, but I don’t know what God is saying to me, but I would be happy to hear it if he wants to speak to me. Perhaps the problem may be that I am not very “deep.”


Maybe you are not looking for an answer. You just want proof that God exists. Some day you may find the proof. Hopefully it is not too late.


That is how i arrived at Catholic answers.

You also can close your eyes and pray. Ask God about what is going on in your life. You can even ask God to have faith that he exists.

I have. (well, I haven’t asked him what is going on in my life…I cna figure that out). I have prayed and asked for faith in his existence.

  1. Aren’t these one in the same?

  2. You seem to think that this is a bad thing.


That is what is wrong with some people today. They want for themselves. Maybe if you look beyond your need to know God exists, and pray for the poor. Pray for other’s safety. Pray for your acceptance of God. Pray for peace in your heart. There are many other things more important in life. Jesus set the example by sacrificing himself. Jesus could have shown Pilot his power, yet he didn’t. Why? Now dig deep…

Is it a bad thing to want for your self more than for other people? You want to check off on your sheet, God went out of his way to show me he exists. Then you can go on to live a moral life. Otherwise, maybe you will do what your nature tells you to do. Does God want you under those conditions?

If God said to you, “Rico, I am showing you I exist. Now, follow me to heaven.” Would you follow? Would you give your life to know this answer?


Some reasons to pray from Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft:

  1. **Praying keeps your soul alive: ** Prayer is real contact with God, and God is the life of the soul as the soul is the life of the body. If you do not pray, your soul will wither and die, just as, if you do not eat, your body will wither and die.

  2. ** Because God commands it:** Three reasons he commands us to pray correspond to our three deepest needs, the fundamental needs of the three powers of our soul: prayer gives truth to our mind, goodness to our will, and beauty to our heart. “The true, the good, and the beautiful” are the three things we need and love the most, because they are three attributes of God.

  3. Prayer changes us: We pray, not to change God’s mind, but to change our own; not to command God, but to let God command us. Prayer is our obedience to God even when it asks God for things, for God commanded us to ask.

  4. We do not have an infinite amount of time: We are one day nearer Home today than we ever were before. I guarantee you that after you die, you will not say, “I spent too much time praying; I wish I had watched more TV instead.” We must learn to pray because infinite and uncompromising Love will not leave us alone until we do. If we do not learn to practice his presence with our whole mind and will in this life, we will have to learn it in Purgatory, where it will be much more painful - or else we will never learn it, and that is Hell.

  5. ** Learning to pray is dress rehearsal for eternal life:** What you do when you rehearse a play is actually to practice it, to do it; and what we do when we pray is actually to practice what we will be doing in Heaven.

  6. Prayer is delightful: Brother Lawrence says, in The Practice of the Presence of God, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”

  7. Prayer is the way to know God: One moment of prayer, of weak worship, confused contrition, tepid thanksgiving, or pitiful petition will bring us closer to God than all the books of theology in the world.

  8. Prayer is the only way to spiritual progress: We must pray in order to grow, and we must grow because Infinite Love will not, cannot, settle for less than the greatest joy of which his beloved creature is capable.

  9. Prayer is necessary because without it we cannot attain the meaning of life, the end and purpose of our existence: Becoming saints is the meaning of life. It is why we exist. It is why God created us. Prayer is our first step in becoming saints. The second step is charity, a life of love, the ecstasy of giving ourselves away over and over again forever, as each Persons of the Trinity do. But this is prayer, too, or an extension of prayer. This is practicing the presence of God in action.

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