“And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” our Lord inquires.
“Cast all your cares on Him, because he cares for you,” Peter says.
“Pray without ceasing,” Paul tells us.
My mind often objects to these injunctions. Doesn’t the Bible also say that God knows exactly what we are going to say before we say it? Doesn’t it say that God knows our needs before we ask him? It also says that God knows what will happen in the future. Why bother praying then, if he already knows what he is going to do?
You see my poor, finite mind trying to grasp a concept that is beyond time. Yes, God does know what I am going to do, but knowing is not the same as making. He knows that today I will sin, but he does not make me do it. In the same way, he knows what will happen next week, but he sees it with the prayers we have or have not yet offered in mind.
In his book Miracles, C. S. Lewis explains this concept. All of our prayers, spoken or unspoken, past or present, are visible to God from all eternity. This is the theological reason why God desires that we pray for what we need.
There is also another reason, however. I have never yet been friends with someone to whom I have never spoken. When Abraham was called the ‘friend of God,’ it was not an accidental relationship. Abraham had a habit of constantly speaking with his Maker and doing what he was told to do, reason or no reason. How are we to love God unless we obey him, and how are we to obey God unless we know him, and how are we to know God unless we speak with Him, and how are we to speak with Him except by prayer?
God is gracious enough to allow unworthy creatures like us to participate in the great things that he is doing. It’s like having an inexperienced person on your ranch who wants to learn how to train horses (like myself). Something is bound to go wrong. They are going to make mistakes, and maybe even create catastrophes. And here is where my analogy falls apart. You as my mentor would perhaps not be able to fix everything up, and you certainly wouldn’t have foreseen the problem. God on the other hand knows when and where we will mess up and is quite prepared to handle it.
When God’s saints (us) stop praying fervently day and night as Jesus said in his parable of the unjust judge and the widow, suddenly God’s kingdom stops advancing.
The power of a prayer of faith is the power of our God.
In that same parable about prayer, Jesus ends with a question. “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
So friend, let us join together in faithful prayer without ceasing and see what our mighty God will do through us for His glory!