There are many answers to this question.
to receive salvation
to get urgent help
because God said so
our prayers are used by God for the benefit of others
In the past these have all been reasons why I have prayed. At some point these answers didn't seem complete. What was I missing about the point of prayer? Why do some believers have testimonies of loving to pray? Why do some have passionate prayer lives?
I believe that God prompted these questions. I believe God got me to a place where I really wanted answers to these questions.
Getting answers to these questions has taken time. There were things I needed to unlearn. There were things I needed to learn. I did this through relationship with praying people that are in my life and through biographies of praying people. Also, through being taught by authors who have committed themselves to discovering and the sharing what God has shown them regarding prayer.
I mentioned the book called the Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias yesterday. There is a paragraph from this book on prayer that I couldn't agree with more:
"More than anything else, prayer enables you to see your own heart and brings you into alignment with God's heart. Prayer is not a monologue in which we imagine ourselves to be communing with God. Rather, it is a dialog through which God fashions your heart and makes his dream of you a reality. It is truly the treasured gift of the Christian that through direct answers and not-so-direct answers, the follower of Jesus begins to love God for who he is, not for what he may get out of him."
This paragraph is packed with profound motivations for praying. These realizations and motivations in my own life have made a staggering amount of difference in my passion and enjoyment of prayer.
One thing I love about all of this, is that the relationship with God that is created through these motivations for prayer makes it possible to serve others well through prayers for them.
I wish having an ongoing conversation with you everyday wasn't such a challenge. I wish there wasn't so much to overcome. But I'm grateful that you keep inviting us to be more and more aware of you and your work in our lives and the lives of those around us. I'm grateful it only takes the smallest amounts of faith to ask for you to open us up to what you have for us in conversation with you. Help us to see all the ways you respond to our prayers. Help us to have the courage to talk to you about absolutely anything. Especially the parts of ourselves that we are most disappointed exist. Help us to invite you to go to work on us.
Help each of us to see you working to make us into your dream of who you want us to be. Help us to be confident that that person, your dream, will be worth what it will take to get there.
Lord teach each one of us to pray.