The Purpose of Prayer

The editor of our monthly newsletter has asked me to write articles on prayer. Here is the first installment. I am limited to 300 words. This is tough!


Many Christians see prayer as a chore. It is ritualised. We say words that have no meaning. They seem to go no further then the ceiling. Our minds are stuck. We cry out to God when it’s convenient, or we’re desperate.

Our prayer life does not have to be this way. Prayer is talking to God. What do we talk about? It was hot. I had a hard day. I need money. I’m lonely. All of these. Isaiah reminds us: “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1 NASB)

Let’s get back to the purpose of prayer. There are 2 things to learn. The purpose of prayer is talking and communicating with God. As we begin to be transparent in our prayer life, we discover the same thing about prayer that author C.S. Lewis tell us: “Prayer changes ME!”

How has prayer changed your life? When you pray for someone, a friend perhaps, do you just say: “Lord, please bless so and so.” Prayer requires us to invest a little time in the life of another. Can you pray for someone without using the word bless? You can if you take a moment as our Pastor demonstrates to us in asking: “How can I pray for you today?”

Our focus in prayer is NOT me. It should be on advancing the Kingdom. “Thy will be done.” Not ours. What is your agenda in prayer? Is is to get your needs met, or do we say: “Lord I’m available to you today. Please use me, and grant me your grace and your wisdom, so I can be a reflection of your mercy and compassion to others.”