Why Does God Ask Us To Pray?
A note from Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM
Fathers of Mercy
Why Does God Ask Us To Pray? St. Augustine gives us a simple answer: God wishes us to exercise our desire through prayer, so that we may be able to receive what He is preparing to give us.
St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: “Why He (God) should ask us to pray, when He knows what we need (even) before we ask Him, may perplex us if we do not realize that Our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for [as God] He cannot fail to [already] know it) but [He] wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what He is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it. That is why we are told: ‘Enlarge your desires; do not bear the yoke with unbelievers’ (Cf., 2 Corinthians 6:14). The deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive that gift, which is very great indeed…. When the Apostle (Paul) tells us: ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17), he means this: Desire unceasingly that life of happiness which is nothing if not eternal, and ask it of Him Who alone is able to give it.” (From a letter to Proba, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. IV, p. 408-409, emphasis added)