what’s the purpose of prayer if God already knows the answer?

When problems arise in our lives, is praying about the situation your first or last resort?

We tend to do the opposite of praying by thinking about out problems, worrying about it, or talking about it with a friend. Some of us research answers or solutions to our problems online. We even read Christian blogs and books for an outcome or help to fix our problem. Maybe we even ask our mom or sister to pray for it, but neglect to do it ourselves. Or we grab our journal, and write about it.

But why at times don’t we actually pray out loud about it?

Maybe we just don’t understand the importance and purpose of prayer. I confess, my biggest misconception of prayer most of my life, was what’s the point of prayer, if God already knows the answer? Can anyone else relate? I thought, If He already knows the beginning from the end, then what difference will my prayers make?

This led me to dig into Scripture in a new way determined to find out the true meaning of prayer and its purpose. Prayer is mentioned all through out the Bible. Jesus himself often withdrew himself from groups and his disciples to go spend time in prayer.

Prayer is part of the daily armor we are to put on to fight our days against the enemy who is just waiting for us to wake up. The enemy has the same goal each day of roaming around seeking someone to devour”(1 Peter 5:8).

In Ephesians 6:18, we are taught to “pray in the Spirit at all times on every occasion.”

I Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing”.

Paul says to “devote yourselves to prayer”(Colossians 4:2).

James 5:16 says “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

We all know prayer is a part of the Christian walk. It goes hand in hand with being a believer. Allow me to take it deeper and share with you three powerful findings the Holy Spirit revealed to me as the purpose of prayer. I hope it encourages you in your prayer life as it has profoundly changed mine.

Purpose of prayer

  • First and foremost, prayer is how we develop a relationship with God. It’s aligning our heart with His and His purposes. Just like a relationship with your spouse — how are you supposed to build a life with your husband, set goals, partner with to make plans for the future, or discuss your concerns and admiration for each other if you two don’t speak to one other?

In the same way, how are you to get close to your Maker, your Father, the God of the universe and walk alongside Him in your purposes for your life if you don’t speak to Him?

One might argue that they don’t enjoy speaking to someone who doesn’t speak back. But I would counter-argue that with saying – our God DOES speak back, and I challenge you to consistently try it. It might not be audible, but He WILL speak to you in your spirit the more time you spend talking to Him in your prayer life. He’ll speak to you through other people, books, worship music, podcasts, sermons, most definitely — the Bible. He just wants to hear from His precious daughter and it starts with prayer.

  • Some things won’t happen unless we pray. YES, God knows the outcome of everything already, but He could quite easily use someone else OR allow His plan to be accomplished in another way UNLESS we step in and pray for something different.

Have you ever wondered why He says in His word, “ask anything in my name” (John 14:14)?

Of course, some of what we ask for, God has a better way as He knows what’s best, so He doesn’t always give us what we ask for. But the Bible actually has countless stories where God was going to accomplish His plans one way, but someone stepped in to intercede and pray on behalf of the situation to change things, and guess what? God heard them, and He changed things.

Moses is an example. In Exodus 32:11-14, Scripture says Moses “pleaded with the Lord” asking Him to not bring His wrath on His people as God had said he was planning to do, due to their corruption. The Lord heard Moses so He “relented from the harm which said He would do to His people.”

God hears us ladies. We have prayer so easily available to us. I’m not sure what you’re going through right now, but we can intercede ON BEHALF of our current situation. On behalf of our families, our husband, our children. Remember —some things won’t happen UNLESS we intercede. So start praying for your people, just as Moses did!

  • Prayer is a powerful offensive weapon we have. Do y’all know we are fighting a spiritual battle? Ephesians 6:12 says “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Perhaps, your marriage is falling apart, and you are constantly battling your husband. Have you ever thought about how it’s really the enemy behind the chaos? It’s the enemy just using your husband as the vessel. The enemy will do everything to tear down a marriage and destroy families.

Hear this: your husband is not the real enemy. It’s time we take our position as a prayer warrior as wives and fight for what the enemy tries to steal from us every day. For he comes to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) Stop battling your husband (or whoever you are battling right now) and turn your attention towards prayer. Prayer will keep the enemy at bay.

Making prayer a part of your daily life

Friends – prayer is vital to our life here on earth. It is the only thing that connects us to God. It’s the tool we have to know His will and purpose for our life. It’s the tool we have to fight the enemy who comes after us daily. And it’s the tool we have to intercede on behalf of our people just as Moses did.

God hears us. Even when you don’t see him working, trust me, He’s working. It might not be done in the way we ask for, but God knows what’s best. He just wants to hear from his daughter. YOU! And prayer provides an avenue directly to Him.

Perhaps you’ve never experienced a moment of prayer. That’s ok. There is a first time for everything. If you’ve never really prayed, I encourage you to give it a try. The Bible tells us that our prayers will be met with “God’s delight” (Proverbs 15:8)

Throughout the New Testament, we are told that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). I encourage you to actively carve out time alone to meet your Father who is just anxiously WAITING FOR YOU in prayer. He’s so excited to hear from you!

Let’s stop thinking about it, talking about it, worrying about it, and become prayer warriors in our daily walk with the Lord! You’ve got this sister.

[quote from picture is from Lysa TerKeurst’s book “It’s not supposed to be this way”]