Why Do We Pray?

10 good reasons to make prayer a priority

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Prayer is an essential part of Christian life. But how does prayer benefit us and why do we pray? Some people pray because they are commanded to (Muslims); others pray to offer gifts to their many gods (Hindus). But we all pray for strength and forgiveness, to wish blessings upon each other and to be one with the Lord our God.

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Prayer Brings Us Closer to God

Why Do We Pray?
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Prayer time is our private meeting with God. We can spend time in church, we can read our Bibles and even have a pile of devotionals next to our bed, but there is no substitute for one-on-one time with the Lord.

Prayer is simply talking to God and listening for his voice. Time spent in a relationship with him reflects in every other part of our lives. No other human knows us as well as God, and he keeps all of our secrets. You can be yourself with God. He loves you no matter what.

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Prayer Brings Divine Help

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Yes, God is everywhere and all-knowing, but sometimes he wants us to ask for help. Prayer can bring divine help into our lives when we need it most. That goes for others, too. We can pray for loved ones to receive the help they need. 

We can pray for divine peace. God's intervention often begins with a simple prayer of trust. Before you pray, think of people who need God's help, including yourself. What are you struggling with in life? Where does hope seem lost and only God's intervention can redeem the situation? God will move mountains when we ask for his help in prayer.

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Prayer Keeps Our Selfishness in Check

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By nature we humans are selfish. Prayer helps keep our self-absorption in check, especially when we pray for others.

Oftentimes God allows us to see our true selves more clearly through prayer. Think about how often our prayers are centered on ourselves versus on those we love or other believers in the world. When we add fellow Christians to our prayers, we will grow less selfish in other areas too.

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We Gain Forgiveness Through Prayer

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When we pray, we open ourselves up to forgiveness. It's obvious that there are no perfect people in this world. You may strive to be the best Christian you can be, but you will still slip up from time to time. When you fail, you can go to God in prayer to ask for his forgiveness

During our time in prayer, God can help us to forgive ourselves. Sometimes we struggle with letting ourselves off the hook, yet God has already forgiven our sins. We tend to beat ourselves up too much. Through prayer, God can help us walk free of guilt and shame and begin to like ourselves again.

With God's help, we can also forgive others who have hurt us. If we don't forgive, we are the ones who suffer from bitterness, resentment, and depression. For our own good and for the benefit of the person who hurt us, we must forgive.​

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Prayer Gives Us Strength

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God fills us with strength through prayer. When we feel God's presence in prayer, we are reminded that he is always with us. We are not alone in our struggles. When God gives us direction, our faith and trust in him ​grow stronger.

Often God changes our perceptions and our perspective on a situation as we pray about it. We start to see our problems from God's vantage point. Knowing that God is on our side gives us the strength and ability to stand up to anything that comes against us.

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Prayer Changes Our Attitude

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Prayer demonstrates our willingness to be humbled daily and depend on God to meet our needs. We admit our weakness and our neediness by turning to God in prayer.  

Through prayer, we see the vastness of the world and how small our problems are in comparison. As we thank and praise God for his goodness, with gratitude in our hearts, our troubles start to seem trivial. Trials that once seemed huge grow small in light of the difficulties other believers are facing. As we pray in faith, we find God changing our attitudes about ourselves, about our situation and about others.

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Prayer Inspires Hope

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When we're down in the dumps, prayer gives us hope. Laying our problems at the feet of Jesus shows that we trust him. He knows what's best for us. When we trust God, he fills us with the hope that everything will turn out fine. 

Having hope doesn't mean things will always turn out the way we want them to, but it means we want God's will to be done. In fact, something better than we could imagine might be about to happen. Also, prayer helps us see things from God's perspective, and we know that God wants good things for his children. This opens us up to all kinds of opportunities that we may never have seen before.

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Prayer Reduces Stress

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This world is filled with stress. We are constantly bombarded with responsibilities, challenges, and pressures. Stress will surround us as long as we live in this world. 

But when we lay our troubles at God's feet in prayer, we can feel the weight of the world tumbling off of our shoulders. God's peace fills us as we know he hears our prayers.

God can calm the storm in your life even when you are in the middle of it. Like Peter, we have to keep our eyes on Jesus to stop from sinking under the weight of our problems. But when we do this, we can walk on water.

Each new day, turn your pressures over to God in prayer and feel your stress levels go down.

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Prayer Can Make Us Healthier

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A number of scientific studies have shown that regular prayer is an important factor in living longer and staying healthy.

This article in The Huffington Post by Richard Schiffman details the well-documented link between prayer and good health, both emotional and physical: "It doesn’t matter if you pray for yourself or for others, pray to heal an illness or for peace in the world, or simply sit in silence and quiet the mind—the effects appear to be the same. A wide variety of spiritual practices have been shown to help alleviate the stress levels, which are one of the major risk factors for disease."

Some studies have even shown that people who attend church services regularly tend to live longer. So keep calm and pray on.

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Prayer Can Help Us Understand Ourselves Better

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When we spend time in conversation with God, we get to hear the way we talk about ourselves. We can hear the negative things we say about ourselves along with our own hopes and dreams, and how we want our lives to turn out.

Prayer gives us an opportunity to better understanding who we are in Christ. He shows us our purpose and gives us direction when we need to grow. He demonstrates how to have more confidence in the Lord and pours out his unconditional love. Through prayer, we see the person God sees when he looks at us.

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Your Citation
Mahoney, Kelli. "Why Do We Pray?" Learn Religions, Jul. 29, 2021, learnreligions.com/benefits-of-prayer-712616. Mahoney, Kelli. (2021, July 29). Why Do We Pray? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/benefits-of-prayer-712616 Mahoney, Kelli. "Why Do We Pray?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/benefits-of-prayer-712616 (accessed March 28, 2023).

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