Why pray? (Part 1)
The short answer is we are told to by Jesus himself to pray.
However, understanding 'Why?' is definitely a help in pursuing prayer. Well, in as much as we can understand it, that is. We're not told everything – and, even what we are told has depths which we may, or may not come to understand, throughout our Christian lives.
Could God accomplish everything He wants to on earth without us praying? Of course, He could! But, He has decided (and, we don't know why) to involve His Church in the action of heaven upon earth. It's a mystery – and one I can't explain – other than to say I believe that it's in His great love that He has chosen to make us into channels of asking (for that's, at least, part of what prayer is) and, sometimes (though not always), channels of receiving the answers to our prayers.
The Old Testament tells us, “Call upon me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things you have not known.” (Jer 33:3 NRSV). Here is the first (incredible) clue as to what prayer is about – the promise that if we call upon God, He will answer us! It's a spiritual truth, an eternal law. It can't be changed. Let us be greatly encouraged and put this to the test – call upon Him today – God has promised to answer you.
The second part of that promise (in Jer 33:3) is a gift to us in addition to the promise God made to us, “I...will tell you great and hidden things you have not known.” When you pray, you get to know more of the personality of God! That's the truth – and everyone who has made even an attempt to pray will tell you that God drew near, or they 'saw something in the spirit' or even that their mind became clearer about a certain issue. God draws near us in prayer. Yes, we might have to apply ourselves over a period of time (“Seek and ye shall find” Matt 7:7 [italics mine]), but God will come, as He has promised.