Each night before we put our children to bed, we have a family devotion with them. It typically goes something like this: We read a Bible story or a passage from Scripture, we talk about it for a few minutes, and then we close with each child saying a prayer.  

One of our children is developing into a little prayer warrior.  This particular child’s prayers are becoming longer and longer. They go on and on and on and on and on.  

I often wonder why he prays that way. Is it to stay awake longer, since we put them to bed right after our prayer time? Is it to receive praises from Mom and Dad?  

Or, is it because this is a tender-hearted child who genuinely enjoys praying?

In a similar way, are we all that different from children? Why do you pray? Do you pray so you can get what you want? Do you pray to receive the praises of others? Do you pray out of mere obedience?  

Or, do you pray because you are passionately in love with the Lord Jesus Christ, and you enjoy spending time with Him?

Prayer should be one of the sweetest times of the day for us. If we are honest, some of us go days without it. This month I’d like to encourage us to become a praying church by looking at some teachings Jesus proclaimed regarding prayer.

What I don’t want to do is beat you up because you don’t pray enough. If you’re like me, I beat myself up over that already.  

Rather, I’d like to encourage each of us to fall in love with spending time with the Lord Jesus Christ. In thinking about prayer, here is the diagnostic question I want us to consider, “Why do you pray?”

Hopefully, we will begin to find the right answer to this question — together — in the coming weeks.

Chip Thornton, Pastor, First Baptist Church Springville