Why Do We Pray?

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Wayne Terry

Wayne Terry has worked in denominational ministries for the past 14 years. Presently he is the Strategist for Prayer and Partnerships for the SCBC. At home, he invests in his two sons, Joshua and Caleb and is harassed by their labradoodle, Oreo.


There was something so amazing about following Jesus, watching Him pray, and seeing the results that it caught His follower’s attention. When His followers got the chance, they actually asked him to teach them how to pray like He prayed (Luke 11:1). His reply is our reminder of not only how to pray but why we pray.

Praise  Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9)

We pray to affirm that He alone is God. In our culture, our biggest hindrance to prayer is that we think we can handle everything on our own. The model prayer Jesus laid out for us teaches that the first task of prayer is to confess we cannot function apart from Him. We are dependent on Him.

Plan – your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)

Jesus teaches us that we pray to understand God’s plan in order that we might join Him in His purpose. Again, it recognizes that life is not about us. When we become followers of Jesus, everything is about His plans and His desires. Our call is simply to be obedient.

Provision – Give us today our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

Once we understand that He alone is God and everything in life is about Him and His plan, then we pray for our daily provisions to fulfill His plan. We pray for what we need in order to be obedient and faithful in accomplishing His purposes. From the model prayer we learn to ask for even the most basic of needs.

Pardon – Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12)

Obviously, Jesus knew that we would get off course along the journey and that even if we were about God’s kingdom work we would sometimes strain human relationships. So he modeled for us to pray to restore our relationship with Him and other people. As reflected in other passages, the health of our relationships with Him and others will help or hinder the advancement of His plan. Therefore, careful attention must be paid to maintaining healthy relationships, and asking for forgiveness when we fail.

Power – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13)

As we advance His kingdom agenda, we ask Him to protect us and empower us to fulfill the task. If we are truly about His business we can rest assured that the enemy will work to thwart us at every turn. So we pray for God to keep us safe for His work and make us dangerous to the enemy!

Let’s pray like Jesus to saturate and transform every life with the hope of the Gospel, beginning in South Carolina!

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