Why do we Pray?

August 15, 2018 | Timothy Peace

I love thinking about ethical questions. Moreover, I love talking about moral issues.

In brief, I love questions like “How should we live?” or “How do I determine right or wrong in a given situation?”

The reason I love these questions is not that of the particular ethic that people are curious about, but because of the underlying worldview matters that form the foundation for the issues.

This past Sunday, in our discussion about prayer, we noted that our highest priority in life is to worship God and that when we pray (and when we approach prayer), we should always be aware that God will keep our highest priority as the highest priority. When we lose sight of this, our view of prayer will be skewed, incomplete, or incompatible with God’s purposes.

This highest priority, to worship God, is not just a worldview that guides our prayer life, but it is one that ought to govern our ethical questions. However, much like our struggles with understanding prayer, or, more specifically, God’s answers to our prayers, we can often struggle with a whole host of ethical dilemmas when we lose sight of life’s highest calling.

Many of us approach ethical questions from the standpoint of permissibility. For example, we ask “What does God say about this?” or “Does God allow that?” We don’t ask, then, because we want to be in step with our highest priority, but we want to know if what we want to do is in line with what we ought to do.

I would encourage us all to re-center our questions so that they are rooted in our highest calling. Meaning, we say “I want my life to be a life of worship devoted to God” and, therefore, my greatest desire, matching God’s highest calling for my life, will guide my approach to ethical questions. None of this is easy, but if we allow ourselves to be re-oriented into a posture of devotion to God, then the questions we ask and the answers we seek will look different, and, ultimately, so will our lives.

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