To Pray or Not to Pray: A Meditation from Abraham’s Life

Jesus shared with the disciples that the Father “knows our needs before we pray.” This verse is confusing for some Christians, and I was a bit confused myself for a while: if the Father knows our needs before we pray then why should we pray or what should or shouldn’t we pray for when faced with challenges in our lives?

Abraham was guided, protected and provided for throughout his life in so many ways. On many occasions extraordinary aid and support materialized for Abraham and his family beyond his expectations. It is unreasonable to believe that Abraham prayed for these outcomes: for example instant family wealth and fertility for Sarah. In many of these difficult situations Abraham seemed more fearful and doubtful than prayerful.

Then again, Abraham built altars offering thanks and devotional sacrifices, prayerfully interceded for family and people he barely knew, and remarkably pressed for answers and blessings from God during extraordinary encounters with Him. So what we see is Abraham learned through time that God knew what he needed and he also learned to pray for what he needed when he needed it!

God permits us to pour out or cares, torments and troubles. He hears our prayers and answers them as we wait patiently for his help or comfort. On the other hand, He watches over us, shielding us from many heartaches and difficulties along the way, providing creative and unexpected solutions, even when we do not pray.

God provides, guides and protects us before we ask, even if we don’t ask, and we also pray when we are moved to cast our cares in His direction.  Either way God always sees us, and is with us, and is ready to help us!

Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan  2020

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