I pray because…
1. I have a lot to confess (Ps. 40):
“…troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me” (Ps. 40:12);
2. I have a lot to be thankful for (Ps. 136):
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.” (Ps. 136.1-4)
3. I want things inside me and around me to be really, really different (I want His will to be done), and I think God watches over me and can help me, since he made everything (Ps. 121):
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains–where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1-2)
4. I have things I’m sad or angry about or overwhelmed and confused by (Ps. 73; 102):
“This is what the wicked are like–always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments” (Ps. 73.12-14)
5. I find that that prayer usually (not always) changes me, giving peace, perspective, and it reprioritizes my life (Philippians 4.6-7):
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4.6-7)
6. My heavenly Father formed me and knows me intimately (Ps. 139) and wants to hear from me and knows how to give me good gifts (Mt. 7.7-11):
“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.” (Ps. 139.1-4)
7. I am alone; I have no one who wants or is able to listen to me (Ps. 142):
“Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.'” (Ps. 142.4-5)
8. I know that it is effective–Scripture says so and my experience confirms it (James 5):
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5.16)
9. I know that I have access forever through Jesus (Hebrews 7-10)
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely1 those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Heb. 7.23-25)
10. I have the testimony to the reliability of prayer from an innumerable throng of followers throughout the centuries and throughout the diverse cultures of this world (Ps. 22)
“In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” (Ps. 22:4-5)
I have never met someone who regretted spending too much time in prayer. I have met many who regretted spending too little.