“And He was giving them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not faint” (Luke 18:1).
At all times we ought to pray.
She knew I was praying for a certain family member who seems forever in some kind of predicament. She asked, “Why do you pray? I don’t see it doing any good.”
When I caught my breath–I could not believe a Christian asking such a question–I said, “Ask me why I breathe air. It’s what I do to live.”
She did not let me off that easily. “Do you really think God is going to do what you ask? Is that why you pray?”
By now, I had settled down enough to try to verbalize a reasonable answer.
“That’s not up to me. How He chooses to answer my prayer is His business.”
“My job is to pray. To ask, intercede, to speak in faith what someone else needs. And so I ask for it.”
“How He answers is strictly up to Him. Or whether He even answers at all.”
Her question will not leave me alone. I imagine everyone who prays regularly–and keeps it up over the years, through good times and bad–has to answer this for themselves repeatedly, as well as for friends and skeptics alike.
It’s not as simple as it sounds. “Why pray?”