God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility to pray. Moreover, if there is a sovereign God who is control of everything, and this sovereign God has given us a responsibility to petition Him for anything, we might want to know more about the character and the will of this God. Prayer is an invitation for us to build a relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we do, our prayers come in tune with His character.
It is similar to a relationship children have with their parents. If a child has permission to ask his or her parents for something, this child will learn the nature of the parents. The child will know what to ask for, having learned which things align with the parents’ values, standards, and virtues. The child will also study the parents’ personalities in order to understand how to ask. Since we are to ask God for anything we want according to His character, His will, and His standards, we need to know Him better.
In other words, prayer becomes a powerful opportunity for us to not only exercise our responsibility, but also to learn the character of God in the process. I can say, “Wow, my all powerful and all sufficient God promises to give me anything I need. But I need to know that what I ask for aligns with who He is. Let me think carefully about what I am asking for and why.” This is where the Word of God helps us.
The Bible is a great place for us to learn God’s character. It is also a book full of prayers we can use as our templates. We can read the Bible to learn how to pray. First, Christ Himself gave us a model of prayer when He was with His disciples. It is called The Lord’s Prayer. It appears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Also, many of the psalms are prayers that we can use as examples of how to praise the Lord and how to petition from Him. When we study God’s Word and use it in our prayers, we learn His character. In this way, we build a relationship with our Heavenly Father and become closer to Him as His children.