If God already knows the answer why bother asking?
What is the point of praying to an all knowing God?
Does prayer really change things…and if so is that manipulating God?
I’ve had all these questions at different times in my life.
I’ve prayed for healing that did not come. I prayed for children that did come. I’ve prayed for friends marriages to thrive and watched them be devastated.
I’ve prayed for many battles. I have lost a lot and won some too. I’ve experienced intimacy and peace in prayer and at other times I’ve felt like my words were a vacant noise bouncing off of mile high walls. There are always trite Christian phrases used for these seemingly unanswered prayers.
“Maybe it wasn’t Gods will.” “Maybe God had another idea of what healing is” …maybe…maybe…but…
Maybe we just don’t always get to know the whys because we couldn’t understand if we tried. I will not always understand Him or His ways but I can know Him and by knowing Him more I learn more about me and what I truly need.
So back to the question…why seek Him…why pray?
I don’t know a single person in my life that I have a real great relationship with who I never talk to. I can’t know someone by thinking about them or knowing about them. You can read someone’s biography, but that doesn’t mean you know them. I have a Barbara Walters biography sitting on my shelf, it’s great, her life is interesting, smart lady who paved new ground for other aspiring female journalists. I know this because I read about her but I don’t know her.
I will go a step further, there are people who are actually tangibly in our lives everyday who we don’t really know. I have friends and even family who have known me my whole life but they don’t really know me. Not because they haven’t been around me but because they aren’t seeking to know and discover the depths of me. They know me on a surface level, to know someone intimately actually takes work. It requires us to not only discover them but to discover ourselves.
It goes beyond “hows your day.” “Good…good.” I’ve never been comfortable in relationships like that, I actually want real, what is underneath. I know my husband and I know my kids intimately. I desire to know their hearts. When they cry I don’t just want them to stop. I actually want to know the reason why. My son gets passive aggressive sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. To someone who doesn’t know him he may come across as being in a bad mood, I know different. I know his heart is tender, so I understand him, I see beyond because I truly know my son and because I want to know him not just know about him.
The more time I spend with God the more I see beyond and I know His heart even when the desires of my heart don’t seem to be heard. I want to seek Him more that I may know the one who knows the real me and the real desires of my heart. If I can only truly know a person by doing the work, seeking them out, and discovering them, then God is no different. He is a very personal, relational God and this is part of why we pray.
Seeking to know God is not just knowing “about” Him.
When I spend time with a friend, if my motives are genuine I’m not spending time with them to check them off my list or to throw them a bone. Which if we are honest we do this with the creator of the universe. Our list of to do’s looks something like this
Pick up kids
Extra curricular (sports, games, lessons etc,)
Maybe some ministry thrown in
…Oh yeah and give God a shout out
I know I’ve done this before. I would spend time in the word or prayer as though somehow that it is a favor FOR God or perhaps it’s something we are guilted into or a means to receive. If you are honest you have thought this before, maybe not all the time but its there sometimes right?
It sounds horrible when we read it in black and white. But maybe we need to see it that way somehow. Prayer isn’t for God. He has always known us, He knows all things. When we pray we aren’t giving God information about something He doesn’t yet know for He already knows all.
When we pray, when we stop, when we are still, when we listen, when we pause to take honest time to commune and just be that is when we are discovering the heart of God, knowing Him, finding Him, seeking Him for He is our souls desire.
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
It is only in our quiet stillness that we know Him and receive Him. All that He is and in receiving Him we actually receive answered prayer from the depths of our being.
It is in this place that we find true peace, great understanding when all around us is confusing.
It is in this place that we receive comfort when we are uncomfortable.
It is in this place that we receive joy when we externally have nothing to be joyful for.
It is in this place that our hunger is understood and met with abundance.
Prayer is essential.
Be still and know….what your heart longs to know – Him.