Why Bother Praying?

We are told that God knows the heart and mind of everyone (Chronicles 28:9, Jeremiah 17:10), so if he is able to know what we are thinking and feeling, why then do we need to speak to him in prayer?

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I have always been reluctant to pray from the Siddur (prayer book) because I felt that if God really wants me to speak to him, why use someone else’s words? How can I make a heartfelt prayer when the words aren’t even mine?

This has always been an issue with my prayer life. And recently I have come to understand the value of praying to God, even though he already knows what it is I want, how I feel, and, much better than me, what I need.

The reason we need to pray to God, even if we use someone else’s words (although I still prefer to use my own) is to establish that personal relationship, a relationship that isn’t just one-sided. You see, if we don’t speak to God, purposefully letting him know what we want and how we feel, as well as thanking him, then the relationship is really one-sided: God to us, but not us to God.

We need to acknowledge who God is, how he has helped our lives to be better, and to allow him to hear our voice- even if it is a silent prayer- because that is our communication to, and with, him.

True, for 99.99999% of the time (5-9’s after the decimal point is an IT thing) God will be listening without responding- at least, not verbally- to us when we pray, but it is not a one-sided thing because we are both involved in specific and directed communication.

We pray: God listens; we wait for an answer: he does.

Sometimes it’s exactly what we want; sometimes it isn’t what we want but it is what we need; sometimes it comes when we ask for it; sometimes it comes when we least expect it; and sometimes it is just, plain “No.”

But whatever we pray for, and whichever way God answers, the important thing is to establish and maintain that interpersonal communication, which strengthens our relationship.

Even within human interpersonal relationships, talking to each other is essential to create and maintain that intimacy. Sharing our thoughts, desires, and problems helps us to strengthen the bonds of love between ourselves.

That is why prayer is so essential in our relationship with God, and why I pray every single day.

I started to do this when I first wanted to test if God really existed, and there was no answer for months, Then, one day, at Shabbat services in aa Messianic temple I was attending, I was ready to accept Yeshua as my Messiah; the Rabbi anointed me, and I felt the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) enter my body. It was a life-changing experience, and even though it was more than a quarter of a century ago, I still get chills when I recount it to myself or others.

That was the answer to my prayers. At that moment I knew- absolutely- that God existed, Yeshua was the Messiah he promised to send, and since that day I have received answers to prayer. And I know he is listening.

So even though God knows what we want, what we need, and what is truly in our hearts, we MUST pray to him to maintain that interpersonal relationship. Often enough, when I talk to God, I know even if he doesn’t reply, that I am not just talking to him, but with him because he is listening, compassionately, lovingly, and intently.

How he can do that, hear me among the billions of people all praying at the same time, and give each and every one of us the same level of attention, well…it’s beyond me.

But, then again, he is God, isn’t he?

Thank you for being here and please remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!