Prayer is the means one commune with God. Robert Deffinbaugh, who authored the in-depth study of the Book of Luke (1996) (see web-link- https://bible.org/series/luke-gospel-gentiles), observed the following regarding prayer and the Lord Jesus in his narrative in Chapter 22 of Luke.
“Thus, Jesus was praying when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him at the outset of His public ministry (Luke 3:21). Jesus was in prayer when He was transfigured before the three disciples (Luke 9:29). Jesus is likewise in prayer here in the Garden of Gethsemane.”
Prayer marked the critical events of Jesus’ life. Likewise, those who call upon Him as Lord and Saviour, who is not greater than our master (John13:16), need prayer to mark the critical events of their life.
Prayer marks the key events of life, illuminating them with the light of faith in God.
What is the purpose of prayer?
It is to commune with God. But is the purpose for the sake of communication only? Prayer is a means for the person to communicate their needs and wants to God. Prayer is not an end (purpose) unto itself. It seems superficial to claim that the purpose of prayer is to tell God want we need or want.
The following scriptures offer the basis to answer the first question, what is the purpose of prayer?
- The Lord’s prayer as narrated in Mat6:9-13and Luke11:2-13
2. The three accounts of Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46, and Mark 14:32-42 of the Garden of Gethsemane.
The summary below shows the purpose of prayer, drawing from the above scriptures.
- Prayer takes place as a personal relationship between God as Father and the believer.
- This personal relationship is one that acknowledges God’s sovereignty, in tandem with the Father relationship, by praying in private from the soul and in a submissive posture.
- Prayer is for the person to convey their needs, desires, and emotions.
- Notwithstanding these needs, desires, and emotions, prayer helps the person resist the temptation to pursue those needs, wants, and feelings that fall outside of God’s will.
- Reliance on man and man’s pride has no place in the prayer.
- Prayer strengthens the person’s conviction to do God’s will.