Does God need our prayers?

Question: “Does God need our prayers?  Why should I pray?”

Bible Answers

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether (Psalm 139:4).

While God tells us that He knows what we are going to say before we say it (Matt. 32:6), His knowing is not the issue. The issue is does God require someone to ask in prayer before we will receive.  While God's sovereignty dictates that He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants with or without our prayer.  He also honors His Word and will not break it.  God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19). In most related verses, the answer appears to be yes, it is God’s will that we are to ask first, indicating that in most situation, if no one ask, we do not receive.

James 4:2 says, You have not, because you ask not.   God expects us to ask!

Other verses tell us:

And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16:23).

Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).

Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). Jesus must have really wanted to hammer this point home as He repeated Himself in the next verse.

If you shall ask ANY THING in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14).

Does that mean any thing I want?  What if I ask for my neighbor’s wife? As with many verses of the Bible, God gives conditions in adjacent verses.  In this case, John 14:15 says, If you love me, keep my commandments. When God says, “Love Me”, He is talking about a loving relationship with Him in which we want to keep His commandments.  As we build out relationship, asking in His commandments, we align our will with His will and can be assured that what we ask in His will and name we will receive.

Now lets review an area where we are told not to ask, but in the name of Jesus, to command.

When Jesus returned to heaven, He gave His power and authority against Satan to the church. Nowhere in the NT will you find a anyone asking God to cast the devil out or away on our behalf. Why, because saints of the church of Christ now hold that authority. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues… they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mark 16:17-18).

I give you authority to tread… over ALL the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).  Jesus gave His authority to the church and if the church wants to see anything happen to Satan and His work, it is their responsibility to come against Satan, not Gods.  

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction (Matthew 10:1).

For, You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [evil spirits], because He [Jesus] who is in you is greater than he [Satan] who is in the world (1 John 4:4). This is a key consideration.  While Satan is powerful, Jesus, who is in us, is more powerful, and we have a power-of-attorney to use His power to come against the evil in this world. Click for more info on our authority over Satan


What moves the hand and heart of God?  John 14:13 says, The glory of God is the motive for prayer that moves the heart of God.

In addition, we should pray under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Word says in Romans 8:14, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  So, if your prayers are led by the Spirit, you will be in alignment with the mind and will of God and the Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf.

James 5:16 reads, The effective fervent prayer of the righteousness avails much. Effective prayer is exciting prayer.

We may be the Problem

Many of the problems we see today in the world and in this country can be traced back to a church that is not praying, that is not open to the Holy Spirit, and to pastors that only teach about the love of God and not the power, requirements, and judgment of God.  Jesus has given us the authority and anointing to come against the enemy, but our authority only works when we use it.  

If God’s children are not willing to pray and intercede, then much of what God wants to accomplish will not be accomplished.  We need to be careful not to blame God for what is our fault.  For example, most Christians complain about the ungodly actions of those in office, but how many of the Christians prayed and voted, and kept praying.  If more did, we would have a more righteous government.

Are we doing a good job of representing Jesus?  Are we coming before God in prayer with a pure heart, free of sin and unforgiveness, to pray for the needs of our family, church, and country? Are we coming against the enemy and praying for salvation of family, friends, co-workers, and stranger the Lord puts on our mind?


So why does God need our prayers?  God doesn’t need our prayers, but He wants our prayers because He has chosen to do much of His work on earth through the church and His children.  Many of the blessings, salvation, and work that occur today would not have occurred if someone had not been obedient and prayed.

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