Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why do we Pray?

First of all, Christ asks us to pray. He tells us in the Gospel of Luke, How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13). We pray so that God can help us to become more like Him in our actions.
Second, we pray for our renewal and the growth of our soul.
Third, we pray to give thanks to God for all he provides for us.
Fourth, we pray to seek forgiveness for our sinfulness as humility is a prerequisite for prayer.

We can also pray to seek help for others as well as ourselves. But we must not forget to pray for His help in our own spiritual growth. This is not selfish, but essential for us to better love and serve others and carry out God’s commandments. We can ask also for His help in supporting us in the various ascetic practices we choose to undertake to help purify our inner being.

We are asked to pray without ceasing. Here are the Scripture references to this idea.
Pray without ceasing (1Thess 5:17)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Eph 6:158)
He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
(Luke 18:1)

God intends our life to become one of a constant prayer where we are continually in a relationship with Him. This is our main task, to draw nearer to God. How do we do this? Saint Isaac of Syria reminds us that it is impossible to draw near to God by any means other than unceasing prayer.

More on Prayer

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