“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality,
impurities, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy,
fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness,
orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before that
those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no
law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with
its passions and desires.”
If I ask the simple question, “Why pray,” you could probably answer
that question in a hundred different ways, there's no simple answer. But
let me just give a few answers to that question. Probably on the top of
that list should be to glorify God, “Hallowed be your name.”
we are commanded to pray, invited, but we are also commanded to pray.
Luke 18, that parable that our Lord gave of that persevering widow, when
he told them a parable to the effect that they ought, (that's a word of
obligation) they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
could also argue why we should pray, because of our love or concern for
lost sinners. Remember what Paul says in Romans 10, “Brothers, my
heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they might be saved.”
So Paul was praying for sinners that they would be saved.
pray? Here's another reason we should pray, because of our love for one
another. You have that James passage, “Pray for one another that you
would be healed.” And then in Romans 12:11 and 12, you have Paul saying,
“Love one another with brotherly affection.” Then, after he says that
he gives another command, “Be constant in prayers.” He's putting the two
side by side, loving one another and you show your love by praying for
And then another big reason why we should pray is
growth, the growth of the kingdom, “Thy kingdom come,” the growth of the
Church. Every Christian should be praying for growth in their own
personal likeness to Jesus Christ. Many of the prayers by the apostle
Paul, if you examine them you could even call them growth prayers. He's
praying for growth in faith and love and joy and patience.
reason to pray is to be humbled. When we have to confess our sin that
should be a humbling exercise. Jesus puts that right at the heart of
that prayer in Matthew 6. David's great penitential prayer in Psalm 51
is a full-length prayer on seeking forgiveness.
Another reason we
could be going to the throne of grace, and why we should be praying is a
greater witness for Christ, greater boldness and opportunities to share
the gospel at work, with our neighbors, friends, and even our children.
The apostle Paul asked the church in Ephesus, remember what he said in
Ephesians chapter 6, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all
prayer and supplication.” And then he says to them, “Pray also for me
that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the
mystery of the gospel.” So he's praying, asking them to pray for him so
that he would be bold in preaching the gospel.
another reason why we should pray, to experience greater joy and
happiness. Jesus wants us to be joy-filled Christians and he links those
two things together, prayer and joy in John 16. Listen to what he says,
“Ask, and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete.” What is he
saying? When you ask and receive it should give us joy. Obviously the
thing that you prayed for, maybe you were praying for a child and God
answers that prayer and gives you a child, you rejoice in that. Maybe
you were praying for the conversion of a friend, a relative, and God
answers that prayer. That should give you joy.
couldn't we say this Brethren, answered prayer also should give us joy
in the sense that it puts God's character on display. Answered prayer
reminds us of God's faithfulness. That should make us rejoice when God's
faithfulness is proclaimed and given greater evidence.
love for his children. When God answers our prayers, his love for us is
manifestation of his great love. It's also a manifestation of his
generosity. I don't know if we've ever experienced this, I have many
times over the years, but you come to a prayer meeting, depressed,
discouraged, and you leave differently. Does that ever happen? You come
under a heavy cloud of sadness, maybe a load of care, and you leave with
a deep sense of joy. That's been my experience from time to time. Why?
Well, praying gets a focus upon God, it gets a focus upon others. Maybe
we enter into the rejoicing with others in light of Romans 12. But we're
reminded again of God’s goodness, God's love, God's faithfulness. And
let me just remind you that this joy is not an ordinary kind of a joy.
It's not the joy that goes with a particular gene pool. It's a
supernatural joy, that's what our brother read when he read that
Galatians 5 passage, it’s one of the fruit of the spirit. Jesus reminds
us that this joy is a supernatural joy because we can rejoice in the
midst of suffering. Matthew 5, when he talks about persecution, rejoice
and be glad. We can rejoice even in the midst of very difficult
So I trust Brethren when we go to our prayer
meetings and we even go to our prayer closets, we come out of those
prayer closets oftentimes with a greater sense of joy.
We can pray for many reasons, and here's one of them, that your joy may be complete.