Throughout history people have asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people”. Consider also that for decades people have called natural disasters “an Act of God” as though God caused such events, so they blame Him. The reason for such questions and statements is due to IGNORANCE; ignorance of what is recorded for all mankind in God’s Holy Bible!
Informing people of what the Holy Bible records will provide an understanding of the “what” and “why” of the above paragraph. We begin in the book of the beginnings:
Genesis 1:26-28 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Here we see that God made man in His own image, both physical and spiritual, and place him in charge of planet earth. This is recorded again in the Book of Psalms when God placed all matters concerning the earth in the hands of mankind.
Psalm 115:16 – The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.
From that time on man was responsible for what takes place on earth as God has taken His hands off! To answer the question of the title of this article, “Why Pray”, it is simply and clearly because since God gave man the power, authority and responsibility to rule the earth, God will only intervene in man’s affairs by invitation to do so; by PRAYER, asking God for His help!
Now for a brief history lesson to help us understand what has happened since God placed the earth in man’s hands.
Genesis 1:31 – Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
Up to the time that the serpent, whose name is Lucifer, (later called Satan and also referred to as the devil and dragon), is mentioned, we see that everything God made was going great. Then that serpent appears, the enemy of man and God, and begins his effort to take over.
Genesis 3:1 - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Lucifer, the fallen rebellious archangel, was jealous that man was now the ruler of the earth. So he used his craft and subtlety to gain control so he could rule the earth instead of man. The devil accomplished this through the temptation of Eve to get her to obey him rather than obey God. Satan even declared his dominion over the earth at the time he was tempting Jesus.
Luke 4:4-5 – Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
This passage reveals that control and dominion of planet earth was given to the devil (now called Satan) when the rightful rulers submitted their authority to his subtlety in the Garden of Eden. Since then Satan has been the ruler of this earth, and as such is responsible for the chaos and evil ever since. The Holy Bible refers to him as “the god of this world”, and “the prince of the power of the air”.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Ephesians 2:1b-2 – in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
John 12:31 – Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
So why do bad things happen to good people? Blame the evil one, Satan! Why do vicious storms do so much damage? Blame Satan, the prince of the power of the air! Why do people do wicked, vile, perverted and terrible things to other people? Blame Satan and his evil spirit forces who control and motivate those who are not children of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
How do we stop such evil and wicked things from happening? PRAY! Ask God for forgiveness; confess our sins; repent (change), and ask God to intervene in our affairs and the affairs of others by interceding for them. Most importantly you must know God and be part of His family in order to have access to Him and receive what He provides as our Heavenly Father. Ask God into your life by accepting that He provided to restore all mankind back to his original state as it was in the Garden of Eden before the devil subverted mankind with sin and disobedience to God; which is Jesus Christ as savior and Lord.
1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for all sin, you become a child of God by faith (believing and trusting in Him); then you have access to God to have your prayer requests answered as you pray for others, your loved ones, and for His will and righteousness to prevail. He is faithful who promised!
Jesus even instructed us how to pray!
Matthew 6:8-13 – For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors (who sinned against us). And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Please note that Jesus did not say that we are to pray this exact prayer but what manner to pray, or what things to pray for; which includes: honor and reverence for God the Father; seeking His Kingdom (dominion over your life), and His will to be done (His guidance in your life); your daily provision; forgiveness and the need to forgive others; protection (both spiritual and physical) from sin and Satan’s subtlety; and acknowledging that He is our source and not man/government.
Now you know, “WHY PRAY”!
What to pray for is the next thing to know! Prayer is a form of communication with God and our access is trough Jesus Christ which is why we ask the Father in the name of His Son Jesus.
John 14:13-14 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be gloridied in the Son. If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it.
The "anything" refers to any of those things promised in His Word. Our asking is likened to making demand on a promise that it be fulfilled; it's like making out a check to another person and your signature allows them to make demand on that amount of money in your account. As an example, we are to make demands that bind and hinder the works of Satan, our enemy, and to command that the Word and Will of God go forth in the situations we pray about.
Matthew 18:18 - Verily I unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This means that God endorses what we speak in prayer using the name of Jesus because we are praying according to His will - "thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). This means that the saints of God are to take a stand against the forces of darkness, against our enemy, Satan and his demons and the evil they exert on mankind.
For those things not specifically promised by His Word we can ask the Father for:
John 16:23-24 - And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
We petition God on behalf of our needs, not our wants, and the needs of our family. We also make similar requests on behalf of others which is call intercession. It is best to pray what the scriptures says about those needs and thereby putting God in remembrance of His promises; not the He needs to be reminded, but that showing Him that you are standing on what He promised. So find the appropriate scripture to use in your prayer requests.
Our intercession also includes praying for those in leadership and governmental positions:
1 Timothy 2:1-2 - I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
From this passage we see that the purpose for praying for our government leaders is so that they will govern with honesty and godliness. Failure to pray for our leadership means they will likely govern with dishonesty and ungodliness - which is the case in the United States at present. There is so much reason to pray and so much to pray for and about that we should always have a sense or attitude to pray at a moments notice for anything and all things.
Problems that we face in this life, both individually and nationally is due to a lack of prayer. And pray about a matter until you get the answer, don't just mumble a quick prayer and think that settles the matter. The forces of darkness are arrayed against the children of God to try to steal, kill and destroy. Your prayers must be the force that overcomes all the efforts of the enemy.
Luke 18:1 - And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (quit or give up).
In the above verse Jesus is telling us to be persistent and insistent in our prayers, not giving up if we don't seek the results right away. Keep at and keep believing because God hear you the instant you prayed. His answer will come but that answer is being opposed by the enemy, the thief that is out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Your persistent prayer helps that answer to overcome the enemies hindrances.
Pray the prayer of faith, because the just shall live by faith!