Why do I pray if God said no?
Perhaps you asked for a miracle and were faced with heartache. You prayed and God in His goodness said "no". Perhaps you wrestled with the answer and with accepting God's goodness.
So why do we pray?
- God asks us to. Scripture is filled with instructions to pray (see Matthew 6:5-15, Romans 12:12, Eph. 6:18, Phil. 4:6, 1 Thess. 5:17, 1 Tim. 2:1, and James 5:14) We pray out of obedience and faithfulness.
- We pray because we get to. There was a time when we didn’t have the privilege to converse so freely with God and we GET to because of Jesus. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The word confidence means being able to speak freely, without fear or shame. We no longer need to go through a priest or walk through a list of rituals to communicate with God--Jesus is now our high priest, who made a way for us to approach God as our Father.
- Prayer is conversing with God. It is not just asking God for things, but can also include thanksgiving, praise, repentance, and even lament.
- Jesus models prayer for us throughout the gospels and I am particularly encouraged by Jesus’ prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before he was turned over to be crucified. Jesus knew the whole story. Even with this knowledge, Jesus’ soul was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matt. 26:38) when he considered what was coming. He knew the victorious ending, yet he was distressed to the point of sweating blood as he pleaded with the Father to provide another avenue for the salvation of his children to be accomplished. Yet in his very next breath, he submitted, “Not as I will, but as you will.”
We can grieve and rejoice knowing the prosperity gospel is a *false* gospel. Jesus promised us we would struggle, but also gives us the Hope to endure.