3 Reasons You Ought To Pray

Bible Book: Jeremiah  33 : 3
Subject: Prayer

I know this is a very simple title. There’s nothing fancy about it at all. It reminds me of the story of a seminary student who had to write a sermon for a preaching class. It was a powerful sermon but it had a boring title. The professor told him to pick a new title.

The professor said, “Imagine a bus load of tourists was driving by and they saw the name of your sermon on the church marquee. Pick a title that would make them want to get off the bus and run into the church. The next day the student submitted his new title. He renamed the sermon, “There’s a Bomb on the Bus!”

Gallup poll:

78% of Americans pray once a week.

57% of Americans pray at least once a day.

91% of women and 85% of men pray occasionally.

1. The Commandment of Prayer

In the Hebrew “call” is in the imperative.

1 Thessalonians 5”17 - “Pray without ceasing.”

Acts 2:42 – “…and to prayer.”

Matthew 6:5, 6, and 7 (Lord’s Prayer) - “when you pray…”

The issue with God is not whether you will pray, but where, when, why, and what you will pray.

Prayerlessness is sin

1 Samuel 12:23 – “I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.”

If you think prayer is a good and Godly thing, raise your hand.

James 4:17 – “To the one who knows to do good and does not do it to him it is evil.”

2. The Communication of Prayer

The word “call “is also translated as “meet”

What if you had a cell phone that called God? You could use that phone for financial advice, relational counsel, or Spiritual direction. Well truthfully, you have such a “cell phone” plan and it’s free, with unlimited minutes. The signal is always crystal clear with no roaming! I’m referring to the “cell phone” of prayer.

A. Pray Simply

In some ways, just talk to God like you talk to me.

Matthew 6:7 – “When you pray do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do for they suppose they will be heard for their many words.”

My 2 year old daughter recently prayed the blessing over a sandwich and some chips. She said, “Dear God, thank You sandwich, cheeto.”

In a few years when we dignified Baptists are through with her she will say, “Oh, Omnipotent Lord, Most kind and gracious heavenly Father, I bow heart and head in humble contrition to give thanks for the daily provision of Thy sustenance. I bestow on Thee praise for the benevolent gift of the bread and for the banana so lovingly placed therein by the maternal guardian to whom you have entrusted my earthly care. Bless now this meal of sandwich and snack. Bless also this milk and the considerate cow whose loving sacrifice has made it possible. In the name of your holy and majestic Son I pray…and all the church said, Amen.”

I’m not criticizing flowery prayers. And there is a difference in public and private praying. But if you are a new Christian or maybe you are just new to a commitment to prayer, please know that God can hear the most simple of prayers. Just bow your head and talk to God!

Remember, the only way to fail at prayer is to fail to pray.

B. Pray Sincerely

Don’t use “vain repetition.” There is nothing wrong with repetition so long as it is not vain.

You may as well be honest with God. He already knows!

John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress) - "When you pray it would be better to let your heart be without words, than to let your words be without heart."

C. Pray Systematically

Vines Dictionary – This verb represents sustained communication

Matthew 7:7 - “Ask and it shall be given…” Literally, “ask and keep on asking…”

Every Christian needs a set and established prayer time.

If I were to ask you, “When do you pray?” would you have a definite answer?

D. Pray Secretly

Matthew 6:5 – “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

The Pharisees knew that at certain times of the day everyone would have to stop and pray. They would intentionally be at a crowded place at that time.

Jesus is not condemning public prayer. Jesus prayed publicly.

The issue is motivation not location.

In your “prayer closet” there is no attention, no applause, and no accolades.

If you wonder about your motivation in public prayer then ask yourself this question: How often do I pray when I am alone? For if the only time you pray is in public, then apparently the presence of other people is your #1 motivation.

3. The Consequence of Prayer

A. A Promised Response

Remember the old E.F. Hutton commercials? The announcer always said, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen.” Well when a praying person speaks, God listens!

There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer! “Call to Me and I will answer you!”

If you think God has not answered your prayer, it may be because you don’t realize God answers in one of 3 ways. He says, “Go…No…Whoa!” (Yes, no, wait)

You asked for a new job and you think God did not answer.

He answered. He just said, “Wait.”

You asked God to let you date a certain person and you think God did not answer.

He answered. He just said, “No.”

Ruth Graham reportedly said, “If I had acted on my own, I would have married the wrong man 3 different times!”

Please understand that prayer is not a matter of twisting God’s arm to get Him to do something that He doesn’t want to do.

Prayer is not about changing God’s mind but receiving God’s mind.

Prayer is not about altering God’s will but discerning God’s will.

B. A Powerful Revelation

The word “mighty” was used to describe a fenced-in city. It was out of reach and inaccessible.

“The Message” paraphrase Bible says - "I will tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you can never figure out on your own."


POINT: God knows some things you don’t know…some things you need to know…and some things you will never know apart from prayer.

I’ve given you 3 reasons you should be a man, a woman, a student, a boy, a girl of prayer.

1 – God commands you to pray

2 – Prayer is communication with God.

3 – God will reveal Himself to you when you pray.

In other words, God wants me to relay a message. He said, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know.”