Wednesday, January 26 – Philippians 2:12-13
If God already has a plan, why should I even pray?
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.
Students often ask some form of the question, “What is the point of reading or knowing this if I won’t use it later?” It’s easier for us to see the purpose in math and science, since the practical application is often clear, but for other disciplines like reading, the purpose goes a little bit deeper. As a person reads, they become a better reader. Through the practice, they start to have a higher comprehension level and can think more critically about various topics.
For too long, many of us have thought of prayer along the same lines as math and science: using prayer to get a practical end from a listening God. This leads to a view of prayer where we primarily tell God what we need. While this is part of prayer, it is not the full picture. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God where He is at work transforming your heart as you bring your requests to Him. Like reading, we begin to recognize God more and more as the only One in control of our lives, the only One able to answer our prayers.
Prayer is also a response of obedience; God calls us to pray, so we pray. Just as we need food and water to live, we need to nourish our connection to God through prayer and the Word. C.S. Lewis said, “If you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.” Something profound happens when we pray: We experience an internal realigning with God’s nature and will that is often unseen. We are slowly made into the likeness of God, recognizing His authority and inviting Him to work in our lives. What a profound, sacred opportunity. Why wouldn’t we pray?
- How does looking at prayer as an opportunity to speak with the God of the universe change the way you approach it?
- What is your prayer life like? How can you grow in prayer?
Tell God where you struggle with prayer. Ask Him to help you come to Him in reverence and gratitude, regardless of your circumstances.
 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2015), 142.