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If God Knows Everything, why do we need to pray?

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What is Prayer?

How are we to pray?

Lord’s Prayer -

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

10  Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11  Give us this day our daily bread,

12  and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

ACTS/CATS - Does God’s sovereignty/knowledge negate Adoration, Thanksgiving, or Confession?

Back to the question:

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

IN contrast to others: Not informing or manipulating God
Knows what you need:

In ancient anthropology all creatures are distinguished by the fact that they are in need of something at all times. This idea has played an important role in Greek philosophy, especially in connection with theories about the origins of human civilization. According to Diodorus Siculus 1.8.5–9, “need” was the teacher of primitive humanity in that it forced them to develop the arts and sciences in order to cope with these needs. There were further ideas on this topic.309 Perceived needs may be wrong needs, based on error or folly; preoccupation with wrong needs, which in truth may not be needs at all, may prevent people from perceiving their real needs. Whatever the case may be, there was widespread agreement in antiquity that only the deity can know what is truly good and, therefore, what our real needs are and how they can be met. As I have pointed out before, this view was accepted by large sectors of Hellenistic philosophy.311

They pray, not to inform the Father on matters of which he is ignorant, but to worship him

Question- If God knows why pray
Baker New Testament Commentary: Matthew The Essence of This Righteousness with Respect to Man’s Relation to God

Some might object, “Then, why pray at all?” The objector, however, misses the point. Jesus was not condemning the outpouring of the heart to God, not even when of necessity such an outpouring contains a brief statement of certain facts already known to the Lord (see, for example, many of the Psalms). In fact, it is just because an earthly father or mother understands a child so thoroughly and knows its needs better than any stranger does, that the child will go with his needs to him and/or to her, which is exactly what loving parents want him to do. So, far more so, it is also with the heavenly Father (Ps. 81:10; Matt. 7:7, 8; John 15:7; Heb. 4:14–16; James 4:2). What Christ condemns is the spirit of fear and distrust, which causes pagans, who recognize no heavenly Father, to babble on and on, in the belief that otherwise their gods will not be thoroughly informed nor sufficiently placated to grant the requests.

The Message of the Sermon on the Mount 1. The Pagan Way of Prayer

Let Calvin answer your question: ‘Believers do not pray with the view of informing God about things unknown to him, or of exciting him to do his duty, or of urging him as though he were reluctant. On the contrary, they pray in order that they may arouse themselves to seek him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on his promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into his bosom; in a word, that they may declare that from him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things.’1 Luther put it more succinctly still: ‘By our praying … we are instructing ourselves more than we are him.’2.

Because God answers prayer
In both Scripture and our experience, God responds to prayer. Moses prayed for food and water for the Israelites ( and ), Hannah prayed for a child (), and Elijah prayed for drought and then rain (). The events God had already determined came to pass. But God also determined that Moses, Hannah, and Elijah would pray for those events, such that the events would not have taken place if they did not pray for them. Sam Storms puts it well: “We must never presume God will grant us apart from prayer what he has ordained to grant us only by means of prayer.”
The event [in question] has already been decided—in a sense it was decided “before all worlds.” But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. . . . My free act [of prayer] contributes to the cosmic shape. That contribution is made in eternity or “before all worlds”; but my consciousness of contributing reaches me at a particular point in the time-series.
^Paul Rezkalla TGC
Prayer, like everything else in the Christian life, is for God’s glory and for our benefit, in that order. Everything that God does, everything that God allows and ordains, is in the supreme sense for His glory. It is also true that while God seeks His own glory supremely, man benefits when God is glorified. We pray to glorify God, but we also pray in order to receive the benefits of prayer from His hand. Prayer is for our benefit, even in light of the fact that God knows the end from the beginning. It is our privilege to bring the whole of our finite existence into the glory of His infinite presence.
One of the great themes of the Reformation was the idea that all of life is to be lived under the authority of God, to the glory of God, in the presence of God. Prayer is not simply a soliloquy, a mere exercise in therapeutic self-analysis, or a religious recitation. Prayer is discourse with the personal God Himself. There, in the act and dynamic of praying, I bring my whole life under His gaze. Yes, He knows what is in my mind, but I still have the privilege of articulating to Him what is there. He says: “Come. Speak to me. Make your requests known to me.” So we come in order to know Him and to be known by Him.
The event [in question] has already been decided—in a sense it was decided “before all worlds.” But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. . . . My free act [of prayer] contributes to the cosmic shape. That contribution is made in eternity or “before all worlds”; but my consciousness of contributing reaches me at a particular point in the time-series.
^ R.C. Sproul
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