Just as the Bible is important for teaching us about who Jesus is, what He has done for us and who we are in Him, so also is prayer a key part of building a deeper and abiding relationship with God. When we read the Bible, God speaks to us. When we pray, we speak to God. We know that we can pray directly to God and that He hears us. We long to hear God's voice. But do we also remember that God desires to hear our voices? The God of the universe, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God of all creation invites us into His presence to speak to Him and share with Him all that is on our hearts. The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the question, "What is the chief end of man?" with "To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." Prayer is one way in which we can do both.
It's sometimes easy to fall into the trap of thinking, God knows my every thought and all my needs. He loves me and has promised to care for me. So why do I need to pray? If God is immutable (without changing) and is eternal, knowing the beginning from the end, then why should I ask for something He might not be willing to give me? Why should I tell Him of my cares, if He already knows?
These are reasonable questions. They exhibit an understanding of the sovereignty of God over all creation and His goodness and kindness, mercy and love, as demonstrated by His gifts of abundant grace that He gives us every day. So why should we pray? The reasons for praying are both biblical and personal.
Biblical Reasons to Pray
The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis 4:
"And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD" (Genesis 4:26).
Seth was the son of Adam and Eve who had enjoyed perfect communion with God in the Garden prior to their disobedient sin. Once sin entered the world, man found it necessary to seek God, "to call upon His name," to guide and direct them and to discern His will for their lives. We too must call upon His name for guidance and direction. With each passing generation man becomes further removed from God and His ways, and follows more and more the secular culture and is overcome by worldly influences.