Have you ever wondered, “Why do we pray?” We read in the Scriptures about an all-powerful God Who is in control of the universe. Does He need input from frail, sinful human beings who can’t seem to get things straight in their own lives? And can we, by prayer, move the hand of God?

I don’t think anyone definitively knows the answers to all those questions. When we get to Heaven, that will be part of our eternal quest to learn all there is to know about God. However, what I do know is that prayer serves two vital purposes.

First, prayer is part of our communication with God. He speaks to us through His Word, but He also begs that we continue the dialogue with Him in prayer. If you have children, you know how precious it is to have a conversation with them. You appreciate this closeness. In a far grander way, God desires a close, personal, intimate relationship with us.

Secondly, prayer changes us. It refocuses our thinking from earthly pursuits to the glories of Heaven. How often have you gone to God with an urgent request and come away with a sense of peace and trust? And part of prayer is listening to that still, small voice speaking to our hearts. Look at someone who prays often and you’ll see a life dramatically transformed.

Why do we pray? We pray to draw close to a God Who desires friendship and because it shapes the direction of our souls.

Trouble and perplexity drive us to prayer, and prayer driveth away trouble and perplexity. — Philipp Melanchthon

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder