It is a fair question to ask and one I ask myself: Why do I pray? If I am honest, at different times in my life, I have answered the question differently. There was a time when I prayed because it was just what you did before a meal and before bed. There was a time that prayer was a formality—giving God due honor and acknowledgment. There was a time that prayer was a way to acquire what I thought I needed or wanted.
But prayer is more than a form to follow, a formality to appease, or a function to acquire. Though prayer does touch on all these things, there is an art to praying. Its focus is God, and we are invited to come in prayer with our desires, but desire is not why I pray these days.
Prayer is a means for us to commune with God. Prayer is the way for us to be with God. Prayer is going through our lives being open to God’s presence, promptings, and provision. Prayer is more than words, more than communication; it is communion.
Prayer is not an end in itself or the magic means by which we appease God, meet our obligations, or get a blessing. Prayer is the natural language with which we are wired to be alert, aware, and attentive to God. Put another way, prayer is opening our lives to God.
Why do you pray?
What would our lives look like if we were open to God every hour of the day?