Why Do We Pray?

Why do we pray?

Contents List For this article on "Why do We Pray?"

* I connect and communicate with god

* I serve God and receive guidance. I have a sense of purpose

* I pray out of habit. Prayers of desperation

* I pray out of belief in the power of thoughts. I experiment. I join my mind with others

* I love God. I have devotion towards God

* a spiritual poem - always in prayer

* I pray because the repetition of prayer lays down a new thought pathway. And in a time of distress only an established path of thought will be available to me.

* Prayer in time of distress to draw on benefits of prayers already prayed

Why do we pray? What are the reasons for prayer? What are the benefits of prayer?

Below are some of my thoughts. 

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I have written this spiritual article in the first person (I) so that when the reasons for prayer are your own, you are saying an affirmation about your own commitment to prayer whilst you read. 

Being clear on your motivation can help you to persevere in prayer when you feel like giving up.

Why do we pray?... Reasons for prayer 1

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I remember who I am

  • I pray as an act of faith that there is something bigger than myself of which I am a part. I remember and claim my connection with God who is All There Is.
  • I pray as a way to discipline my mind and guard against becoming too focused on my own little world and my seeming identity as a separate body.

Why do we pray?...Reasons for prayer 2

I Serve God and Receive Guidance. I Have A Sense of Purpose

  • I pray to keep the channels of communication open. I receive guidance from a source of wisdom beyond my own.
  • I don't believe the problems of the world can be solved purely through human endeavour. I don't just want a solution within the current world, I want a whole new world - a world with a God of Love in charge.

    I want to bring through a solution that is good for all. I do this by connecting with Unity Consciousness - with the one God in whom we are all united.
  • I want my life to be useful.
    Through prayer I strengthen my experience of Love.
    Through prayer, I plug myself into Source so that it can shine through me.
    Through prayer I give God, the Divine, access to change my mind and to bring heaven to earth.
    'Thy kingdom come on earth as in heaven.' From the Our Father prayer.
  • Why do we pray? Because God calls us to pray. We choose to answer that call.
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Why do we pray?...Reasons for prayer 3

I Pray Out of Habit. Prayers of Desperation

The following reasons for prayer are perhaps not the faith-filled reasons we would aspire to. Yet it is often during difficult times that we become willing to take up the habit of prayer. A prayer of desperation can lead us into a powerful experience of God's love.

If you think you are praying for the “wrong” reasons, pray anyway. As ACIM says,“Your little willingness is enough”, God will do the rest.

  • Why do I pray? Because I have been taught to pray and I have kept or want to resume the habit of prayer.

  • It comforts me to believe in a loving presence to whom my words and needs and intentions are important.

  • I want a sense of control or influence over events that seem very much out of my control and influence.

  • I have no one else to talk to. I am lonely.

  • I have done all I can do to physically solve my problem or another’s problem and I don't know what else to do.

  • I don't know how to forgive another and feeling angry has become too painful.

  • I don't know how to forgive myself and the guilt is too painful.

  • I want health. I pray for healing.

  • The bills need paying and I don't know what to do.

  • Someone has died. I pray to assist them in their journey after death.

Why do we pray?...Reasons for prayer 4

I Pray Out of Belief In The Power of Thoughts To Bring Change. I Experiment. I Join My Mind With Others

  • All our thoughts are prayers. Our thoughts have the power to create. I don't want to keep thinking the same thoughts and creating the same world. Prayer is a way of choosing my thoughts more carefully and deliberately than I often do.
    I open my mind to the new. I choose a future unlike the past.
  • Why do I pray? - To focus my mind on what I want instead of on what I am experiencing or what I fear.
  • Someone has died. I pray because I believe my prayers can reach them and assist them.
  • I am willing to do the experiment. I want to try out this spiritual practice that people have engaged with down the millennia.
  • I pray prayers of agreement to join my mind with others. I believe in the power of joined minds.

Why do we pray?...Reasons for prayer 5

Spiritual Love. Spiritual devotion

  • Through prayer I increase my awareness of God’s love for me.
    I am willing to receive God’s love.
    I am willing to know that God says I am beautiful in His/Her eyes.
  • I need God. By myself I am nothing and can do nothing.
  • I love God/Spirit/the Divine, and there is nothing sweeter than to lose myself in a deep sense of Oneness with Her/Him and with all others.
  • I pray because I love God. It is natural to talk to one I love.

A Spiritual Poem About Prayer

Always in Prayer

My prayer is
the opening of a vent:

my world, 
a little less stagnant, 
I breathe.

My prayer is 
the opening of a shutter:

my world, 
a little less dark, 
I see.

Let me be 
always in prayer. 

It's OK to find that prayer gives you access to a bigger, lighter world.

“Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer 
or withheld his love from me!” 
(Psalm 66:20, NIV) 

© Katherine T Owen

Spiritual poems by the author on this site

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Why do we pray?...Reasons for prayer 5

* I pray because the repetition of prayer lays down a new thought pathway. And in a time of distress only an established path of thought will be available to me.

Prayer in time of distress to draw on benefits of prayers already prayed

Dear God,

Thank you for spiritual teachings that have taught me the value of repetition.

I understand that in a time of weeping and wailing, it is natural that in this moment, I feel it will go on forever.

I may feel hijacked by a feeling.

I may feel anger, hopelessness or powerlessness.


In such a state might find it a challenge to pause and breathe and include you.

In such a state, I am unlikely to reach out for something new.

But through repetition, cultivating an awareness of your presence and speaking certain words to you or with you, has become a familiar practice.

I have laid down pathways of thoughts that are different from those which come more easily and do not help.

I have practised words which hold a vision, not of how things seem to be, but of how they are in your kingdom.

I have practised words which practice hope, not in my strength – where there is no reason for hope – but hope in your strength, where there is certainty of hope.

And so, even if in this moment they feel meaningless, I repeat the words of this prayer, or another prayer.

I choose to trust that they will open me to the knowledge that right now I am loved by you.


Articles related to Why do we pray?

How about you? Why do you pray? What are the benefits of prayer for you?
I would love to know. Visit the forum on prayer to share your wisdom or to offer up your doubts.

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Move to explore the question of How to pray to God?

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