Do you fall asleep when you’re praying? Does your mind chase distractions that pop up so much so that God asks why you’ve pocket dialed Him again? Same here, and it’s no surprise to God. He knows how many hairs are on our heads, as well as our every thought. In fact, He can tell exactly what we need before we even ask Him (Matthew 6:8). Why then, I wonder, do I need to take the time to constantly pray specific prayers to a God who already knows everything that I’ve done wrong and that I need? It seems redundant, but here’s why we have to keep God in the loop even more than we do our best friend:
- It’s necessary for our well-being. When we do not regularly speak to God because we figure He already knows it all, we weaken our connection to Him and miss things that God needs to show us. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If we want God’s fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23)—we need to remain connected to Him; one key way to do that is by being in constant, detailed conversation with God.
- It confirms God’s greatness. People often say, “God’s got enough on His plate to care about my problems.” But God’s ability is limitless. He is unfathomably powerful. He will carry all of our burdens, big and small, all at once. Neglecting to pray about day-to-day matters that we think God may consider trivial is a misunderstanding of God’s magnitude. When small struggles come our way, we think we can handle them on our own, but the truth is, we are helpless like toddlers and in need of constant guidance from God. We plan and organize and hypothesize, only to get stressed out by “what ifs” and work case scenarios because we overlook the Master of all things.
- It honors God. God knows everything, but He also longs to be in a relationship with us. He wants for us share every bit of ourselves with Him as parents long for their children to do, even though they often already know what is going on. God wants to hear our stories from our side, to be an integral part of our everyday interpretations, decisions, and direction. God is not just another one of our social media followers. He is worthy of direct calls from us.
- It’s a privilege. Followers crowded around the mountain where Jesus was in order to hear His teachings (Matthew 5-7). God made it so we have the opportunity to meet with Him freely every single day, and we act like it is an inconvenience, something to rush through, forget about, or fall asleep during. We have the honor of speaking with the Creator of the universe about our day-to-day lives—and He cares—yet we act like a meet-and-greet with Taylor Swift, or a lunch with our boss is more remarkable. We should constantly converse with God since it is amazing that He invites us to.
- It gives us perspective. It’s easy to get a big head when things are going well for us. We quickly forget about God and attribute success to our own merit. Thanking God in addition to merely expressing our needs reminds us of all that God has given us. Even though things go wrong in life, much goes right. Every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17). We must constantly express our gratitude for the little things that are good—like breathing, walking, siblings, sunshine, and coconut ice pops.
We pray to God not to enlighten Him about how we are doing, but to admit to ourselves that we can’t live life on our own. We need Him in our everyday routine even more than we need our morning coffee. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If it matters to you, God cares. If it’s bothering you, God wants to help you with it. If it makes you smile, God can’t wait to share your joy. Pray honestly, earnestly, and often. You’ll be amazed by God’s influence in your life.