I Thes: 5:16— Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
The Purposes of prayer—
1. To Minister unto the Lord—–Through praise and worship, recognizing who He is, just talking to the Lord, taking time to listen for His voice—
To establish relationship with God, to know the character and nature of God
This is non-existent in most people’s lives and certainly isn’t a top priority in many peoples lives
2. To Minister to Ourselves
Not necessarily to ‘get’ something material for ourselves, but rather to bring us into fellowship with God and make us like minded with Him.
Prayer develops character in us, makes us sensitive to the Lord. It changes our attitudes and perspectives to line up with His Word, especially when mixed with the Word
Prayer makes us useable…..A sign of spiritual maturity is to ask the Lord to rather make me useable, before you ask Him to use you. Prayer is meant to be an avenue of change for our own heart, as we spend time in the presence of God
As God’s love builds up in our lives through spending time with Him, faith will start to grow. We will find that the more time we spend with Him, just being with Him, not asking for anything, the more His love will fill us and the more our faith will grow. Then when we have a need, the faith is planted and growing in our hearts and will be a natural outflow to help bring to pass the answer as we pray.
3. Allows God to flow to us and through us
Prayer is a way of us receiving things from God for ourselves and for others—- for ministry and our needs
John 14:12-14, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus is saying we should bring our petitions before Him in His name
John 15:16…. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
If you asked the average person what the purpose of prayer is, they would tell you it’s to ask and receive things from God. That is one purpose, but shouldn’t be our primary purpose. Prayer is not meant to be need related exclusively, but rather to be relationship related. Our prayers should draw us closer to the Lord and our main desire should be to develop a closer relationship with Him.