Why Do We Need to Pray?

By Tiffany

There have been several occasions in my life when I have been asked this question. Out of curiosity, I did a short search to see how others have answered it, and here are some of the answers that have been offered:

1. To come to know God and build a relationship with Him
2. To ask for strength, healing, or to make requests or petitions
3. To come to understand God’s will for us
4. Because we are commanded to do so

In addition to these, I wish to offer my own thoughts on why we need to pray.

As Christians,  We Should Pray

First, when we call ourselves Christians this means we are taking upon us the name of Christ and trying to be like Him. When Christ was on the earth He set an example by praying. He prayed for guidance, He prayed for his disciples and followers, He prayed in gratitude and praise, He prayed when he instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and when He was on the Cross. So, if we are calling ourselves Christian, and becoming like Christ, then we should pray, as He did. (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, John 17:11, John 17:20-21, Luke 10:21, Mark 14:22, Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:44, Matthew 27:46).

Prayer is indeed our opportunity to come to know God and build a relationship with Him. However, it is critical to understand that in order to build that relationship we must understand that prayer requires two-way communication. Building a relationship with God is similar to building relationships with people around us, conversations need to go both ways; we talk, and then we listen. It is the same with God. Prayer allows us the opportunity to tell God how we are feeling, ask for guidance, assistance and answers to questions, but it also is our opportunity to learn from Him what His will is for us.

Another reason for prayer is for repentance (for example, see God Helped Me Conquer Alcoholism). Christ atoned for our sins so we can be worthy and pure to enter God’s presence. Only He can grant us forgiveness for the sins we have committed. Prayer is a means for confessing our sins. The Lord has promised us that “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts.”

Prayer Helps Us Find Purpose

We can also pray and ask God to help us find purpose in our lives. He has a plan for us and desires to lead and guide us. I know from experience that when I have humbled myself in prayer and offered myself as a tool for Him, God has guided me in making life plans and decisions. He has even given me purpose that gets me through performing the mundane and seemingly purposeless tasks of daily life.

Finally, I think one of the most important purposes of prayer is to bring our will into correspondence with God’s will. I think many people pray and then become upset when their prayers are not answered. Even though God loves us, it is not always His will nor is it possible for Him to give us the things we desire. I have a friend who prayed for a unicorn every day when she was a child, but not surprisingly, she never got one. Was this because she lacked faith? I don’t really think so. If you aren’t receiving answers to your prayers, or your prayers aren’t answered in the way you want, maybe you need to evaluate what you are praying for and instead ask God what you should be praying for.

The bible dictionary notes that the purpose of prayer is “to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means of obtaining the highest of all blessings.”

When praying, I think it is important to first rely on the spirit to know what to pray for, and then to believe that He will answer our prayers, through faith (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Why do you think we need to pray?

(For more about prayer,  I highly recommend this speech: “Using the supernal gift of prayer”), as well as the following articles:

Love is the Best Discipline – A mother finds the answer to a child’s tantrums through prayer

Letting the Lord Guide Your Career – A man finds the right way to make a living through guidance from God

God Helped Me Conquer Alcoholism – An Interview

Does God Answer Prayers? – A family lost at night in a lake

Answers to Prayers – A baby born prematurely

How Can I End My Nicotine Addiction?

How Can I Overcome Sadness? – A high school boy struggling

God Saved My Father’s Life – Recovery from cancer

Does Prayer Make Life Easier? – A teen’s loneliness


Related Posts

Seeking God in Prayer

Answers to Our Prayers

Do We Listen When God Answers Our Prayers?

How Can I Overcome the Effects of Sexual Abuse?



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10 thoughts on “Why Do We Need to Pray?

  1. Santha Kumar says:

    Very good site.Thanks.

    1. Anonymous says:


  2. Tressie Chisley says:

    I was brought up praying and giving to others who were in need and less fortunates as me. I believe in the power of prayer because I know God has all power and He will delivery unto us exactly what we need. We have to be patient and sincere in our asking. You can’t continue to do wrong and expect blessings and always forgiveness. You have to show God you are worthy of his Mercy and Grace. I love praying because I know I have a Saviour that is there for me and He knows me and I can be true, free, and gain knowledge of His teachings. God has been there for me and better to me than I have been to myself. He has unconditional loving

  3. Brigham says:

    I think you’re right: 90 percent of prayer (or maybe it’s 99) is about us strengthening our relationship with God or learning what His will is, and less about trying to get God to grant us wishes, although as the quote you shared from the Bible dictionary makes clear, I guess there are blessings that God would like to give us, but will only do so if we pray.

  4. Natalie says:

    Great insights! There’s a really great post I read Family Prayer: Giving Good Perspective where the author calls it “creating a clean slate for the day”. I keep thinking about that and how it’s a chance to push reset. That’s as good a reason for me as any of the ones you’ve listed above! (I need a do-over frequently. :) )

  5. tiflyon says:

    I admit, I have the same issue. Sometimes I find myself becoming routine in my prayers – giving thanks for the same things, and asking for the same blessings. I think that prayer, even though simple in concept can be difficult to carry out. In my head I know that I will only get out of prayer as much as I put in, but it is so easy for prayer to become habitual. That’s a good suggestion for a blog post, and I think it is something that everyone struggles with, no matter how much experience they have with prayer. I’ll add it to my list of topics, but if anyone else wants to take a stab at it, go for it!

  6. Ashley says:

    Although I wish this weren’t true, many times my “reason” for prayer is habit. I thank him for the good in my life, I ask for safety in my day-to-day actions, etc. Sometimes when I think about what prayer really is — communication with God himself — I wonder why I’m not experiencing truly meaningful conversations with God on a more regular basis. I’d be interested in reading a blog post on how to pray effectively…

  7. Christine F says:

    Sometimes I pray because it gives me perspective. When I was a little girl, I remember going to lots of big gatherings of friends and family. Sometimes I’s start to feel overwhelmed and insecure as I ran around crazy with the pack of children. I’d get upset, get mad at someone, throw a fit. My mom would call me over to come and sit by her for a while to “take a breather.” I’d calm down as I sat next to her, felt her calm as she chatted with other adults or just held me on her lap. I’d remember that she was in charge, that she was watching out for things and had enough control over me and my situation to help me feel comfortable again. I would regain a little perspective on life outside of the moment, and I’d feel calm and happy and ready to venture out again.
    The analogy is probably clear. Prayer does that same thing for me now, as an adult. I get overwhelmed and just need some time to feel my Father’s influence in a close and calm way.

    1. tiflyon says:

      I love that calm feeling that comes over me when I am praying. I know that when we open our hearts and are willing to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost we can feel comfort and receive answers and inspiration. Prayer is a wonderful gift!

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