Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grudem on Prayer: Why Bother?

This upcoming Sunday, we will be looking at the issue of prayer in the Sermon on the Mount.  We will be spending 3 weeks on the subject covering Matthew 6:5-15.  This week we will be looking at verses 5-8 regarding how not to pray (verses 9-13 tell us how to pray).

But through all of this, as I study, I am asking myself the question:  why should we pray?  After all, in vs. 8, Jesus clearly says that God already knows what we need before we ask it, so why bother?  Here is an answer given by theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem offers in his best-selling, world renown Systematic Theology:

God wants us to pray b/c prayer expresses our trust in God and is a means whereby our trust in him can increase.  In fact, perhaps the primary emphasis of the Bible’s teaching on prayer is that we are to pray with faith, which means trust or dependence on Go.  God as our Creator delights in being trusted by us as his creatures, for an attitude of dependence is most appropriate to the Creature/creature relationship.  Praying in humble dependence also indicates that we are genuinely convinced of God’s wisdom, love, goodness, and power – indeed of all of the attributes that make up his excellent character.  -377

Later he adds:

But God does not only want us to trust him.  He also wants us to love him and have fellowship with him.  This, then, is a second reason why god wants us to pray.  Prayer brings us into deeper fellowship with God, and he loves us and delights in our fellowship with him.  -378

Grudem is on to something here (and he has much more to say on the subject than this.  Prayer is more than just asking for God to intervene.  Prayer is our admission that we are insufficient apart from Him.  If we depended on God to redeem us, then we continue to depend on Him to change us, make us more like Him, and live in this world seeking to be like Christ.  Prayer assumes humility and a desire for fellowship with our Creator who has redeemed us.

So this week (and every week) let us rethink prayer.  Stop making prayer a ritual or a Christmas list.  Make prayer about humble submission and full dependence on He who redeemed us for His glory.  Let us enter into fellowship with him.

How's your prayer life?  Do you have on? 

For more:
Is This How We Pray? 

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