by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
“If God already knows our needs, why should we pray? After all, he knows everything!” So goes the sincere question from new Christians. “Why pray, anyway?” There are many reasons one could offer…
First, because God created man to love and serve him. He wants to communicate with us, to meet our needs, and to show his love. He wants to have an intimate relationship with us. The scriptures are filled with stories of those who prayed and God answered. The early church prayed at Pentecost, “and the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Their prayers were answered! And the world has never been the same.
The second reason we should pray is that our joy will be complete: “I will therefore that men pray everywhere” (1 Timothy 2:8); “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41); “Jesus told his disciples they should pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1); “Ask and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24).
The third reason is that man has an instinct that tells us that we are not alone, that there is a higher power. Mankind often tries to replace this instinct with the worship of things, of nature, or idols made with human hands. And all the time God is saying “Speak to ME.”
The fourth reason is because God answers prayer! There are so many evidences of the power of prayer.
In Pray! magazine, Aryln Lawrence writes about her experience with her daughter, Heather, who had complained of discomfort on her right side. She was in great pain and agony. The doctor diagnosed the illness as a highly inflamed appendix. “It will have to come out,” he said.
In the hospital parking lot, before taking Heather in for the surgery, her mother prayed firmly and confidently and rebuked the enemy to release her and that God would comfort and heal Heather. They practically had to carry her into the hospital.
As additional tests were being taken, suddenly her pain was gone. Neither the ultrasound technician, the radiologist, the family doctor nor the surgeon examining her, could find the inflamed appendix, or what had been the problem. She was released and sent home. At home, Heather answered a call from her pastor. She replied simply, “My mom prayed for me, and I was healed!”
In India, our mission service team was assigned to special at a small corps a few miles from the Ahmednegar Hospital. The corps was crowded. The people were sitting on the floor. I noticed a commotion in the back of the little chapel. The translator said, “Those are people who are demon possessed and have come to be healed.” The sermon, preselected weeks before, was based on the demon possessed boy in Matthew 17. At the conclusion of the service several came forward to receive Jesus as their Savior. Some came to be healed. One young girl, perhaps eight or nine years, old, looked gray and ashen. Her eyes were downcast and very sad. I asked through the translator why she came forward for prayer? She said “To be free of the demon.” We anointed her with a small vial of oil. We prayed that Jesus would heal her and that God would cleanse her body, soul and mind and that she would be free of demons forever.
When I opened my eyes after the prayer, the girl standing before me was hardly the same girl! Her eyes were open and bright, the ashen color was gone! We praised God for his healing miracle.
But the story does not end there. Six months later, after we had returned from India, I had a letter from the translator telling me that the girl had stopped by and wanted him to tell me that she was trusting Jesus, and that the demon no longer had any power over her!
God urges us to pray. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”