Why Is It Important to Pray?

people who know the importance of prayer praying around a table, hands joined

By John Bornshein

Why is it important to pray?

Knowing the answer—and then doing something with that knowledge—has the power to change our lives.

How, exactly?

Read on.

This excerpt comes from A Prayer Warrior’s Guide to Spiritual Battle: The Front Line.


Someone once said that we make a mistake when we think of praying for God’s work to be done. 

“We don’t pray for the work,” he said, “prayer is the work.” 

You have a lot of tasks ahead of you, but they all pale in importance compared to the priority of prayer. Remember John 15—we’re the branches on the vine. 

Branches don’t work and strive to produce fruit; that happens naturally as a result of their connection to the vine. Don’t let your “to-do” lists—as important as they are—sever your connection with the Vine. 

Work in a context of prayer. Plan in a context of prayer. Make your contacts in a context of prayer. 

. . .

An incredible connection is formed between believers and the heavenly Father during prayer. This connection is something that intersects the physical with the spiritual and goes far beyond human comprehension. 

The ability for humankind to speak in the throne room of the Almighty is awesome in and of itself. 

But the fact that God in all of his splendor will stop and listen intently to our every word, as if nothing could be more important to him at that moment, is truly breathtaking. 

God desires relationship with us, and our dialogue with him through prayer is where He reveals the deepest characteristics of his nature. In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul reminds us that our determined purpose is to become more deeply and intimately acquainted with God. 

There is great power in this fellowship.

You have been called for such a time as this to be a light in a dark world.1

. . . 

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Why do we pray? 

Here are a few key reasons.

1. We love him. 

Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we, if we love God, will desire to be with him and to fellowship with him in proportion to our love for him.

2. We depend on God. 

He is our source. He is our life (Col. 3:4). Through prayer, we receive the comfort, strength, and all the other resources we need in life, both naturally and spiritually. Prayer—relationship with God—is as necessary to the spiritual life as air is to the natural life.

3. Prayer allows us to resist temptation. 

Jesus warned his disciples to “watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matt 26:41 NKJV). Living a life without prayer can leave us weak and exposed, giving an opportunity for the enemy to gain ground and potentially lure us into sin.

4. Prayer is necessary for people to invite God to act in salvation. 

God gave the earth to Adam and his descendants, so we must invite God to work here. If no one invites him to work on earth, Satan—the “god of this age” because of humanity’s universal rebellion (2 Cor 4:4)—will dominate human affairs, and eventually the judgment of God will come. By inviting God to intercede often and specifically, multitudes can be saved who would otherwise be lost.

5. God commands us to pray. 

In Colossians 4:2, Paul writes: “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (NKJV). Jesus also encouraged his followers to pray: “Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 NKJV).

The need to pray is as great as the authority of God, who commands us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17 NKJV). 

Prayer is so vital to all that God wants to do on the earth, and it is so essential to us, that he commands us to do it all the time.2 


This post is adapted from A Prayer Warrior’s Guide to Spiritual Battle: The Front Line, available now from Lexham Press.

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Other resources on prayer

  1. John Bornschein, A Prayer Warrior’s Guide to Spiritual Battle: The Front Line, 2nd ed. (Bellingham, WA, 2016), 1–3.
  2. Ibid., ch. 1.
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