There are several reasons why we pray. We are commanded to pray in scriptures (Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Thess. 5:17), prayer is communication with God (Heb. 4:15-16), Jesus prayed (Mark 1:35), and Jesus even seemed to expect it as a work of piety (Matt. 6:5-15). But the question, “Why pray,” is one that is asking what is the value of prayer if God already knows our needs before we pray and Holy Spirit can pray better for us on our behalf.
One answer is that we are personally transformed when we pray. If pray is communication with God, a point in our existence where we can have a personal audience with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we come in contact with the contagious holiness of God. As Isaiah saw God in Isaiah chapter six and felt overwhelmed by his sense of sin but was purged of it, we are likewise transformed in the continued presence of God. Still, why are we encouraged to pray for our needs?
Ultimately, we are lead in scriptures to think that pray does change things, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16b). Dallas Willard writes, ““The idea that everything would happen exactly as it does regardless of whether we pray or not is a specter that haunts the minds of many who sincerely profess belief in God. It makes prayer psychologically impossible, replacing it with dead ritual at best” (Willard,1998, 244). Prayer changes things. It is may be a mystery as to why God has His ear turned to us but He does, and “We may never know the true effects of prayer this side of death” (Ortberg, 2009, p. 95).
Ortberg, John (2009). The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Willard, Dallas (1998). Divine Conspiracy. Harper Collins. San Franciso, CA.