Why do followers of Christ pray? Jesus has bridged the deep, wide gap between God and man. Becoming a man himself, Jesus serves as the heavenly mediator between the Lord of all creation and sinful, broken mankind. Moreover, all who believe in the power of Christ and his gospel receive the Holy Spirit, who works to sanctify us into the glorious image of the Son. His Spirit does more than sanctification, though: He cultivates a relational connection between believers and the Lord, manifested in the act of prayer. Prayer, therefore, is done in order to commune in the Spirit with the Father.
The Holy Spirit is freely given to all who receive and follow Christ (John 14:16). This is a foundational truth that cannot be forgotten within the act of prayer. As we have discussed before, we pray to the Father, in the Spirit, and through the Son. Within the act of intimate prayer, we interact with all three persons of the Trinity. When we pray, we engage in authentic fellowship with God.
If prayer is a culminating act of authentic fellowship with the Lord, then why would we not pray? Prayer is an indispensible action of the Christian life, and it must be cared for and nurtured. Without real, true, intimate prayer, there exists no true community with the Lord. If he has brought us to him, then surely we must be faithful in his faithfulness to us.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”Matthew 6:5-13 ESV
- Why should we pray?
- Why is the Holy Spirit important within the act of prayer?
- How can you strive to have a more intimate prayer life?