Question of the Week: Prayer

We recently started a new feature here on Get Up With God. Send your deepest, thorniest, most mind-boggling Bible questions to getupwithgod1@yahoo.com and I’ll do my very best to answer ’em in 100 words or less.

Here’s this week’s question . . .

I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but I still find myself struggling with the whole concept of prayer. My questions are: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

More specifically:

  • To whom should we pray? God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit? All of them at once? Jesus’ mom? Someone else?
  • What should we pray? If God already knows how things turn out, what am I supposed to pray? If I don’t say the right things, will God zap me?
  • Where should we pray? I know some Christians have freaky (at least to me) little prayer rooms. Do I need to clean out a closet and make one or else God won’t listen?
  • When should we pray? Should I stick to rushed repetitive prayers at meals and bedtime like most Christians? Or should we stop everything like other religions and pray three times a day to make sure we get ’em in?
  • Why should we pray? If God truly controls the universe, why does he need my input?
  • How should we pray? Assuming there are satisfactory answers to all the above, then exactly HOW should we pray? Is there some magic formula?

Great questions! In fact, they’re so great that I think we’ll spend the entire week here on GUWG focusing on prayer.

Let’s start today with the WHY question: Why on earth should we pray? To me, if that one isn’t answerable, we might as well be atheists.

Here are GUWG’s official . . .

TOP TEN REASONS TO PRAY

  1. Jesus prayed. (John 17)
  2. It works. (Matthew 21:21-22)
  3. God listens. (Psalms 5:1-3)
  4. God responds. (Matthew 7:7-11)
  5. It deepens our relationship with God. (Psalms 1-150)
  6. It brings us peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  7. It helps us avoid temptation. (Matthew 6:13)
  8. It gives us an opportunity to confess our sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
  9. It shifts our focus to “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
  10. God tells us to. (1 Timothy 2:1)

We’ll answer the other questions as the week rolls on. Stay tuned.

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