The Purpose Of Prayer
One of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray…" (Luke 11:1); then he said that we are to continue to ask, seek, and not until the door of the Holy Spirit is opened to us (11:9-13).
In today’s Christian world most Christians pray to get things from God for themselves, this is a selfish approach to prayer, whereas the Scripture teaches that we are to pray for the purpose of getting God in our life; in other words to become holy as God is holy, for without holiness no man shall see God (1 Pet 1:15-17, Heb 12:14). The purpose of Jesus’s high priestly prayer was for the purpose of us becoming one with God (Jn 17); to become children of God through the word of God/Christ (Jn 1:1-12). The reason scripture does not teach that we should pray for things from God, is because God already knows what we need (Mt 6:8). Good strippers for us is to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and become a new creation in Christ (Rm 12:1-2, 2 Co 5:17).
Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer Mt 4:4). When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4).
“Ask, and you will receive…” (John 16:24). We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.
To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things through God who works in me.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things and live his life. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature in order that we may become perfect/mature, as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).
The apostle Paul taught that the work of the ministry is for the purpose of bringing the church into maturity (Eph 4). As we continue to pray to God for his Spirit working in us our inner man will be renewed day by day (2 Co 4:16-18). As our inner man is renewed day by day, the believer will become a manifest son of God who is then capable of setting the creation free Rm 8:19).
God has called us to be His body/church on earth for this very purpose. God requires His physical children, empowered by his Spirit to accomplish the things that are required on His physical earth. This was God‘s plan from the beginning (Gn 1:28), but man became separated from God by sin. The gospel of the kingdom was designed to bring the will of God on earth as it is in heaven, which is plainly stated in the Lords prayer.
(Reposted by permission of The Dragon Slayer)