I volunteer in our church’s 5th and 6th grade classroom. I learn so much every week, even though we are teaching “the basics”. This week we talked about persisting in prayer. We split into small groups, and I had a group of all girls. I talked about how there is nothing too small or big to pray for, and the real reason we pray: for us. God knows what we are going to say, and what is on our hearts. He does not benefit from our prayers. We pray to grow closer to Him. To nurture the most important relationship we will ever have. One of the girls who I know struggles at school raised her hand. She began to talk about last year her best and only friend moved away, and there was no one to talk to or be there for support when she was bullied. She said she started to do things that were “weird” (her description). She started to pray constantly, and her heavenly father comforted her and convicted her. She began to make better choices and felt better about herself. This little girl taught more about what I was teaching her. God doesn’t need our prayers, but we do.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
(Luke 18:1-7 ESV)
….Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV)