Why Pray if We Don’t Really Believe?
Some years ago, I wrote a book that I titled “GOD’s Powerlines — The Spiritual Dynamics of Electricity”. The book is about the form and function of prayer. In the years between publication and today, I realize that there is a remaining question concerning prayer that needs to be answered. It is “Why pray?” How does one reconcile free will and the sovereignty of GOD? How much of our lives are us and how much is Him? If it is true that GOD is All-Knowing, All-Present, and All-Powerful why pray?
Beginning June 17, 2020, and for the next 119 days, Steve and I worshipped, prayed, and declared scripture at 48 state capitals, traveling more than 28,000 miles during that time. We met others who were on a similar mission; all of us seeking GOD’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our last capital was Montgomery, Alabama on the 14th of October. The days between then and now have certainly been a time of testing, trial, patient endurance, and remaining firm in what one knows to be Truth. And the Truth is that which sets us free (John 8:32), and promotes abundant life; it is the devil that comes to steal, kill and destroy — his is not truth. (John 10:10) When our expectations are not met, that we can see, do we then lose hope in Truth and Righteousness prevailing against the schemes of the enemy of the brethren, the devil? The apostle Paul would say, “GOD forbid!”
Prayer can be such an illusory, (synonyms: false, deceptive, misleading, illusive, imagined) thing if you use it as a talisman; a method of procuring your desired outcome, which, by the way, is witchcraft. But most prayer seems to be about getting something from GOD. And when we’ve prayed and then don’t get what we prayed for or about, then do we become miffed or PO’d at GOD? I’ve been there and I imagine most have joined me in this boat at one time or another. So, where does that leave us with our prayers? As believers in our Savior, Yeshua the Messiah we don’t want to be practitioners of witchcraft, do we? Certainly not! So, let’s take a look at “Why Pray”.
GOD desires, wants, NEEDs a relationship with each one of us. When the disciples asked Yeshua, “LORD, teach us to pray,” he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
For the purpose of this post, the critical aspect of the Lord’s Prayer is “Your Will Be Done.” How will we know GOD’s will unless we spend “face time” with Him? (Mat 6:6)
Take time with GOD. Build a relationship with Him. Trust that He cares for you and only wants the best for you. Discover what He has to say about any given situation. Jeremiah 33:2-3, “Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it—the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
And then pray His revelation back to Him trusting Him with the outcome. When we know the WILL of GOD then we can pray with fervency and effectiveness. (James 5:16) To pray and not believe is to pray like an unbeliever; “Oh God, if you are real…”
Our 120-day tour of the 48 capitals had a specific purpose to join with the heavenly hosts in the war against the spirit of Amalek. (Exodus 17:16) To call the “7000” (1Kings19:18) who have not bowed the knee to Baal to come out of the caves (1Kings 18:13), and be bold in their witness for Truth and Righteousness (1Thess 2:2). And to join together in a Jehoshaphat army declaring victory over the enemy of GOD’s people. (2Chronicles 20:12-27)
The Word of GOD creates. The first few words of our Bible attest to this truth, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” The apostle Paul says in 1Corinthians 14:1, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” Why did the apostle desire that all would prophesy? Because the spoken WORD of GOD creates an outcome. Definition: the result or effect of an action, situation, or event.
When the Will of GOD is revealed it is up to us to stand firm, without wavering (James 1:6) on that Word, thanking GOD and singing praises to Him for revealing His will. We then believe in faith upon that revealed Word until His Will results in or affects an action, situation, or event.
If we believe that GOD has truly spoken His Will then we must stand firm in faith, without doubting, looking not at the situation through the eyes of our flesh, but through the eyes of our SPIRIT. What we see in the physical might not seem hopeful, but we must remain focused on what GOD has revealed and rest in His assurance that He’s got this in His Hands. Instead of worrying, praise, and thank Him for the victory He has already given us through His Son, Yeshua!
Our prayers, or lack of them, determine our future. GOD is All-Knowing. He is not bound by time or space as we are. He moves freely up and down the timeline of earth’s past, present, and future history. He knows the future but that doesn’t mean He determines it. We determine our future by our actions whether for good or for bad. When we pray GOD’s will we are determining a future outcome; whether that be for the next second, or for a millennia in the future. Outcomes are prophetic and we have a hand in shaping outcomes by our prayers. No wonder the apostle Paul said that he earnestly desired for us all to eagerly seek that we might prophesy. Definition: The inspired declaration of divine will and purpose.
Don’t be a believing unbeliever — praying, but not believing. TRUST to see what you have had FAITH to BELIEVE and been OBEDIENT to do. What has GOD said for this time — TODAY? Believe His Word is Truth and don’t doubt.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13) Join the Jehoshaphat army!
1Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”