Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why pray?

Sunday I'll be speaking on the power of prayer. Prayer is a practice which continues to be of great interest to Americans. Philip Yancey, author of Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference, says, "According to Gallup polls, more Americans will pray this week than will exercise, drive a car, have sex, or go to work."

Prayer always raises as many questions for me as it provides answers. I'll be talking about some of these questions on Sunday. One question for prayer is, why pray? Various answers are given by authors, theologians, Christians, and non-Christians (yes, non-Christians and even atheists pray). People pray:

  • Because they don't know what else to do.
  • To change God's mind.
  • To change themselves.
  • As self-help therapy.
  • Because it is commanded.
  • To get material things.
  • To develop a relationship with God.
  • Because it is a habit.
  • To receive guidance and help.
  • To get through personal crises.

Which of these do think are good reasons to pray? The best reason? The worst reason(s)? Why do you pray?