Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Why I Pray

Downtown Monroe

This morning I received two e-mails from friends who have been desperately praying for answers from God. Today, they received those answers, and were blown away by this. One person wrote, “Why do I not expect this to happen?” Now, for the moment at least, they are motivated to pray more. God’s loving responses to them motivate me to pray more. 

In a few minutes I will walk to the back of our property, by the river, where there is an old table, and my praying chair. I’ll bring my journal, Bible, and a cup of coffee… to meet with God for a while, and pray. I will pray for others, and I will listen to God speak to me. At this point in my life, I rarely leave these prayer times without feeling encouraged and strengthened. 

Why do I do this? Why do I pray? The basic reason is: because Jesus did. Here’s my reasoning. 

1. Jesus is my Great Shepherd. 
2. My Great Shepherd spent much time praying. 
3. Therefore, I spend much time praying. 

How do we know Jesus spent much time praying? Because “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” (Luke 22:29) What Jesus did there was: 

1) instruct his disciples to watch and pray. 
2) pray, himself. 

“As usual,” Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, and prayed. “As was his custom.” Praying was Jesus’ customary way of doing life. If Jesus habitually did this, who am I, one of his followers, not to? 

I read of a sign, supposedly on the Alaskan Highway, where the road turned from pavement to dirt. It read: “Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next hundred miles.” Choose praying. Over time, it will become the habitual rut in which you live your life.

- From John Piippo, Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God (Kindle Locations 3636-3652).