Three reasons why Christians pray
Praying regularly can sometimes feel like hard work – is it really worth it?
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why Christians pray?
Prayer is important for believers because it helps us connect with God. But what exactly does that mean?
A few weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Sam. He’s not a Christian but we were talking about the difference between Christianity and other religions.
If you think about it, praying to Jesus is something pretty unique about Christianity. Maybe you’ve been in church so long that you take prayer for granted, but think about it: prayer involves talking to someone that you can’t see and that you probably can’t hear.
It can sometimes feel weird or uncomfortable, especially when you’re in a group. But here are three reasons why Christian teens pray anyway:
1. To stay close to Jesus
Who do you text the most? Who are you always sending messages to on social media?
My guess is that the people you communicate with the most are probably your close friends. The people we care about the most are usually the ones we text the most, and even the ones that we really enjoy spending time with in person.
Now let’s say I told you that you couldn’t talk to your best friend for a month. How would you feel?
You might feel scared, or you might feel a sense of loss. When you don’t talk to your friends, over time, you lose touch. It might not seem too bad at first but after years of not talking to someone, you begin to grow apart.
One reason believers pray is because we don’t want to lose touch with Jesus. Jesus is my best friend and on days where I don’t feel like praying, I talk to him anyway because I want us to stay close. I want our relationship to keep growing, which is why it’s important for me to pray.
2. To remember that we need Jesus
Psalm 42: 1-2 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” This verse reminds me that we need Jesus in the same way that we need water.
A few years ago, I worked in a high school that was really big on sports. But one day, something terrible happened: the water fountain beside the gym broke! We teachers were freaking out; how were we supposed to run the school and take teenagers to the gym if they didn’t have any water?! That’s crazy right?
Just like it’s crazy to expect an athlete to train without water, it’s crazy to try to live the Christian life without praying. At one point, Jesus was talking to a woman who had never met him before. In John 4:13-14, he told her, “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks this water I give them will never thirst”.
Jesus is the real deal. He offers us a life that is better than anything we could have ever dreamed of. And when we connect with Jesus and talk to him through prayer, we’re remembering that He is the water we need.
3. To connect with Jesus on a deeper level
Martin Luther believed that prayer wasn’t just something to do when we feel like it. Rather, he saw prayer as a commandment. If this is true, why is prayer so important that God would command us to do it?
Sometimes when I pray, I’m in crisis mode. My best friend is sick, my parents have issues, my brother’s feeling off and I’m really struggling at work. When I tell God about all this, I feel better after, but I also feel like I connected with him on a deeper level.
Remember before when we were talking about close friends? My guess is that your closest friends are the ones you share everything with. When we tell people what’s really going on, we are saying that we trust them with our hearts.
When we tell Jesus everything, we are being vulnerable, which helps us connect with him on a deeper level. Also, 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Believing that Christ hears our prayers reminds us in a powerful way that we are deeply loved.
What about you?
Do you ever think about why prayer is important?
Or maybe you don’t know Jesus and you’re asking why it’s important to connect with him in the first place.
It’s okay to ask yourself this question and to not have all the answers. I also want to add that if you do choose to pray, it doesn’t need to be complicated.
Prayer can be many things but it’s mainly about connecting with Jesus. So my challenge to you is to find a simple way to tell Jesus that you want to connect with him today. When you do so, be encouraged knowing that as James 4:8 says, when you “come near to God...he will come near to you!”