Sunday Preaching: Why do we need to pray if God already knows everything?

John 6:1-21 (NIV)

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.


Why do we need to pray if God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent? This Sunday, we discuss that very question as we reflect on John’s account of the story about Jesus feeding some five thousand people.

In this passage, Jesus went to a mountain to isolate Himself, after facing pressure from the people who intend to make Him a king by force.

He withdrew from the crowd, to gather Himself, and to commune with The Parent God, so that He fully understands His mission on earth. On that mountain, He prayed for the five thousand or so people whom He miraculously fed earlier.

Whenever we pray, we give the body of whom we pray for a “face.” Whenever we pray, we do so not necessarily for God, but for ourselves. Sometimes, like Jesus, we need to isolate ourselves from our mission, to pray and reflect on what our mission is about. Through prayer, we nurture our personal relationship with our Parent God, much like what Jesus did on that mountain. This is the importance of prayer in the lives of us Christians.

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