I was asked recently, “What is the purpose of prayer since God knows what He’s going to do anyway?” That’s always an important question and I don’t have all the answers, but I studied the following today:
“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;
All day and all night they will never keep silent
You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;
And give Him no rest until He establishes
And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm,
“I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies;
Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.”
But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD;
And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.” Isaiah 62:6-9 (New American Standard Bible)
At this time, God has already promised the Israelites the restoration of Jerusalem but here He says they are to be like watchmen who never rest. In those days, watchmen on the top of the walls of the city were to never sleep and constantly call out about the safety of the walls (who got any sleep listening to them, I wonder?). Just like those watchmen, the Israelites were supposed to remind God of His promise and “give Him no rest” until He comes through on His promised restoration. God has already sworn what He’ll do but the Israelites have to nag Him to do it. OK, maybe “nag” isn’t the best word but I sorta get that idea from this passage.
So? we know one purpose of prayer is to prompt God’s hand to keep His promises. Don’t rest! Don’t sleep! Keep it up! He wants us to plead with him in persistent prayer.