What’s the point of prayer?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this subject, and I’m getting ready to start researching and writing on it. But first, I’m curious: What do you think?

We know that God tells us to pray. We also know that God is omniscient. So what is the purpose of prayer? Is it merely duty, or something else?

Join the discussion at https://mstublefield.com/theology/whats-the-point-of-prayer

6 thoughts on “What’s the point of prayer?

  1. I would say the first step is realizing there’s more than one way to pray. This book http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Way-Spiritual-Practices-Everyday/dp/0310258103 calls them Spiritual Disciplines, but it’s praying. It’s important to realize that praying goes way beyond telling God what you think, or what you want. I would even say the majority of prayer should be listening, and listening is not what we usually do when we pray. Usually we are talking. The book has a bunch of different practices to help become comfortable with silence and simply being so that we are able to listen.

    I think my mom has my copy of that book.


    1. That’s certainly relevant to the question, “How should we pray?” but it doesn’t address, “Why should we pray?” It’s the latter that I’m curious about.


  2. prayer isn’t for God. its for us. we don’t pray to get God to listen, or to tell him something he didn’t know before, we pray to draw us closer to our creator, to work on that connection between us and the Holy Spirit that lives in us. God knows the best ways for us to be in communion with him, and along with living out his commission, the best way for us to really gain insight into his purpose for our lives and to have a strong connection with him is to pray.

    for a human example, say i want to be friends with you. i am friends with you. if i never call you again, for a long time we will still say we are friends, but we’ll go on with our lives. we don’t NEED to talk to one another to like one another. but to really have a connection, one of us needs to pick up the phone and say hi. in other words, thanks for calling me the other day. i miss you guys.


    1. Our phones are friends as well, and apparently on the same wavelength, because my battery was dying at the same time yours was! 😛

      Thanks for the comment!


  3. I think it’s important to be specific about what prayer is in order to accurately ask why? At first glance, the typical answer to Why should we pray? will likely be about why we should talk to/at God. But if we better clarify what makes up prayer we could get a different question, Why should we listen to God?

    It’s the latter question that I’m more interested in and that question provokes a particular understanding of the world, that I might not know what’s actually going on. I only see things from one perspective, mine. What if something else, completely different, is actually happening but I’m not in a place to see it?


    1. I agree that “Why should we listen?” is a far more interesting question. It certainly stirs something within myself.

      In regards to prayer, I’ve been thinking about our motivation for praying for a long time–what prompts our prayer, to what end do we pray, and why do we consider it worth our time? What are the Biblical answers to all those? Two Sundays ago it finally started to come together for me, but it’s still not something I’m solid on. Maybe I’ll share my thoughts in a blog post after I take a walk with my pipe.


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