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Purpose of Prayer

October 28, 2010

One of the most startling and wondrous realizations that any Christians can have is that much of the purpose of prayer has to do with one simple thing: relationship-that is, relationship coram Deo (before the face of God). One great and glorious reason God devised prayer was to use it as a mechanism to draw us to himself, to help us see how much we need him, to set before us constantly the realization that he is everything we are not, and he possesses everything that we lack. We are weak, but he is strong; we are foolish, but he is wise; we are untrustworthy, but he is faithful; we are ignorant, but he is infinitely knowledgeable; we are poor and empty, but he is rich and full. Imagine this: although God does not need any of what we bring to him in prayer, he longs for us to bring everything that we do bring to him and so much more! He wants us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), in part because our need for him never ceases. Prayer is not instituted, then, as a means of helping God out. Just the opposite: it is for our sake, and for ours alone.

– Bruce Ware, “Prayer and the Sovereignty of God,” For the Fame of God’s Name, p. 135 9781433504921

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