When I was in high school a gentleman posed a question to me that profoundly affected my life. While working as a waiter at a local restaurant, I observed a man lead his family in prayer before their meal. Later, when I brought him his tab, I mentioned that I was impressed that he had prayed before he ate. He asked me if I prayed. I told him that I did when I needed something. He then asked me a provocative question, “Why don’t you pray all the time?” I was stunned — and a little ashamed. Why didn’t I pray every day?
The answer is as simple as it is profound. I didn’t pray every day because I didn’t feel a need to. In this I was just being human. We humans are wired to meet felt needs. If we sense a need, we meet it. When we feel the need to eat, we eat. When we feel the need to sleep, we sleep. When we feel the need for caution, we use caution. When we feel the need to take drastic action, we do so.
So why pray if we don’t feel a need? Because we are more needy than we realize. We have spiritual needs that we don’t feel. The Bible tells us that we have all strayed from God — in ways that we may be unaware of — and need a closer relationship with the Shepherd of our souls (1 Peter 2:25). The first step to enjoy a closer relationship with God is honest, open conversation — prayer.
Lee Brainard, June 21, 2014