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Why pray?

Have you ever heard someone ask that question: “Why pray?” Have you ever heard them follow up with these questions/objections: “If God knows everything and God is in control, what difference will prayer make? Does prayer really ever change anything other the heart of the one praying?”

Yes, it does.

James tells us, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” James 4:2c (NIV) You do not have did not pray. Why pray? Because nothing will happen if we don’t. When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.

At the Leadership Prayer Breakfast in Wheaton, Illinois in October, 2000, General Charles Krulak recalled, “During Desert Storm the United States Marine Corps was ordered to push up the Saudi Arabian coast through the minefields in southern Kuwait and capture Kuwait City. To move 80,000 marines up that coast, we had to build a logistics support base. We built that base at Kabrit, 30 kilometers south of Kuwait and 30 kilometers in from the Persian Gulf. We picked Kabrit because it was an old airfield that had water wells that provided 100,000 gallons of water a day. The marines needed that much water daily to carry troops into Kuwait. Fourteen days before the war began, General Norman Schwarzkopf, commander in chief of the central command, made a daring move called the ‘great left hook.’ This sweep of forces flanked the Iraqi army. It was a great move, but it forced the Marine Corps to move 140 kilometers to the northwest and locate a new logistic space at the Gravel Plains. There was no water. For fourteen days we had engineers digging desperately to find water. We went to the Saudi government and asked if they knew of any water in this area, and their answer was no. We brought the exiled Kuwaiti government down to our command post and asked, ‘Do you know if there’s any water in this area?’ They said no. We went to the Bedouin tribes and the nomads, the people who lived in that area, and said, ‘Do you know where there’s water on the Gravel Plains?’ They said, ‘There’s no water there.’ We kept digging wells hundreds of feet deep — to no avail. Every morning at 7:15 a.m., during my devotional time, I asked the Lord to help us find water. On the Sunday before we were to enter Kuwait, I was in a chapel Service, where we were praying for water, when a colonel came to the tent and said, ‘General, I need to show you something.’ We drove down a road we had built through the desert from the Gravel Plains to the border of Kuwait. About a mile down that road, the officer said, ‘Look over there.’ About twenty yards off the road was a tower that reached fifteen feet into the air. It was a white tower, and at the top of the tower was a cross. Off the ends of the cross were canvas sleeves used in old train stations to put water into train engines. At the base of that cross was an eight-foot-high pump, newly painted red. Beside that pump was a diesel engine, and beside that, four batteries still in their plastic. On the engine were an On button and an Off button. I pushed the On button, and the engine kicked over immediately. I called one of my engineers and asked him to test the flow coming out of the pipes. An hour later he said, ‘Sir, it is putting out 100,000 gallons a day.’” (1001 Illustrations That Connect, pp. 316-317, ed., Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis ten Elshof, Christianity Today, 2008)

When we pray, God places a fully-functioning water pump in a desert where “there is no water.”

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