We have just concluded our study of Ephesians as a church family. This week I have been reflecting on the call to prayer at the end of the letter. The call to pray at all times, with all manner of prayer, with all perseverance, and for all the saints (6:18). Along with meditating on that verse, I was reminded of a book on prayer entitled, Why We Pray. Over the last few weeks a couple in our church have been telling me about how this book has been an encouragement to them. While I was out one day this week I stopped by the bookstore and picked up a copy.
The author, Pastor William Philip, presents a unique approach to encouraging the Christian in his or her prayer life. He believes that if a Christian can understand the biblical nature of prayer and why it is that we pray in the first place, we will then be encouraged to pray. Therefore, the four chapters are in turn, four reasons why we pray. The chapter titles are: “We Pray Because God is a Speaking God,” “We Pray Because We Are Sons of God,” “We Pray Because God is a Sovereign God,” and “We Pray Because We Have the Spirit of God.”
Why We Pray, is concise and an easy read, but also full of rich theology. In fact, Philip wrote; “we learn most about prayer simply by learning about God” (pg. 18). As the chapter titles indicate, his goal is to teach us about God (theology). I would encourage you to take a copy of this book and read it with someone else in the church discussing it together. In closing, let me provide a summary statement from the book in order to give you a taste. Philip wrote:
We pray because God is a speaking God. The relationship we were created for was ruined by our sin, but God did not retreat into silence. He went on speaking into his world words of promise, reaching their zenith at last in the person of Jesus Christ his Son. To him we turn in faith for our salvation, a faith vocalized in trusting prayer, the unequivocal evidence of “the life of God in the soul of man.” And because God has adopted us into his family, we have come to share the privilege of intimate relationship that Jesus, God’s perfect Son, has with his Father and our Father. We pray because in Christ we too are sons of God. Moreover, because we are sons, we are brought into real partnership with the sovereign God to think his thoughts after him and participate, through our prayers, in his purposes of eternal glory. (pg. 83)
Take, read, and be encouraged.
See also: Encouragement to Pray