A Progressive Christian Blog

What are Prayings for?

The other night I was tucking our oldest two in to bed and I said, “okay boys, lets say our prayer.”*

To which Tai replied,

Dad, what are prayings for?

Setting aside a moment in my brain to chuckle at the word “prayings,” I am struck by the maturity of this question. One which I’ve essentially been asking for about the past 10 years. And since I have yet to come up with a good answer, I decided to go Socratic on my son.

That’s a good question, Tai. Why do YOU think people pray?

He pauses, but only for a beat, before answering my question,

So they can keep on living for a few more days?


That might be the best answer to what “prayings” are for that I’ve ever heard.

I said,

That’s a great idea, Tai. I’ll bet lots of people pray so that they can keep living for just a couple more days. Why else do you think people pray?

Almost immediately,

To make peace with God?


So, in summary, I have discovered that my 10 years of searching for the point of “prayings” could have been avoided had I only asked my 7 year old.

We pray so that we can survive.
Keep on living.
Keep on making it another day.

And we pray so that we can find peace with the Divine.
Make and maintain a connection with God.
Be reminded of Peace.

I love it.

What about you?
What do YOU think prayings are for?

– – – – – – – – – – –

*The Prayer that we pray with our boys at bedtime is a modification of the Lord’s Prayer that my wife wrote several years ago. It goes as follows:

Our Father (or Mother, we alternate) in Heaven, you are good.
Your way is perfect.
Let your way be done on earth just as like in Heaven.
Please give us all we need to live each day.
Forgive us when we hurt you
And help us to always forgive others when they hurt us.
Keep us close to goodness, mercy, and love, always.
Your Kingdom is Forever.

3 Responses to “What are Prayings for?”

  1. Reece Sealock

    I really like the idea of praying to make peace with God; I never really thought of it that way before!

    I had so many friends tell me that God had this amazing plan for me, and that everything would fall into place when He wanted it to happen. I used to pray every single night before bed asking for so many things, but I haven’t in recent years asked as much as I used to.

    I found myself wondering that if things were really predestined or fated to happen in the way God intended, wouldn’t that mean that praying was like asking Him to alter his plans to suit our needs and desires?

    The philosophical side of me sometimes struggles with how much free will we are given and how much events happen because “when it’s meant to happen it will.”

    I think your son has the right idea…sometimes we overthink things. I’m definitely still figuring out how much prayer is appropriate, and what kind of prayers I should offer. As of late, I’ve mainly been thanking God for keeping my parents and family healthy, and for giving me the opportunity and means to move here to California and pursue bigger things.

    I’ve found a little more peace in recent years when I stopped asking God for so many things, and started thanking him for what I’d already been given. Now when I do ask for things, it’s usually for clarity or extra strength, determination, or ambition. For courage to take action.

  2. Christy

    I always felt that I pray because God wants to have a relationship with me and I want to have one with him. So, the only way that is only going to happen if I talk/pray about my day, my struggles, my joys, my mundane, that God would show me how he wants me to use my spiritual gifts and that I would obey when the opportunity arises. Also asking for forgiveness for the sins I’ve done and the people I have hurt, how can I transform my heart.


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