Hendrickson Publishers interviewed Kent Crockett about his newly released book If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray?
1. What’s the first step somebody should take if they want to improve their prayer life?
God tells us that He is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). So the first thing we must do is get rid of all pride and self-sufficiency, and humbly come to Him with a sincere heart. This places us in a position where we can connect our heart to God’s heart.
2. Can you describe your own process of coming to learn how and why to pray?
Years ago when I was a new Christian, I didn’t pray very often because I didn’t understand why I needed to pray. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, it won’t be long before you quit doing it. I figured that since God knew everything, it was a waste of time telling Him what He already knew.
But as I studied the Scriptures, it became clear to me that there are four distinct purposes of prayer, which I explain in the book. Once I understood these reasons to pray, it motivated me to talk with God about everything.
3. Can you talk briefly about the four purposes of prayer?
The first reason is to dialogue and fellowship with God. He could have said, “There’s no such thing as prayer. You have to go your entire life without talking to Me.” But the Lord wants to communicate with us, so He gave us the privilege of talking with Him.
The second reason to pray is for us to participate in God’s will being done on earth. The Lord could have done everything for us by Himself, but instead He instituted prayer so we can be co-laborers with Him.
The third reason is to show God how desperately we want something. When we examine various instances in the Bible, we find that answers came to those who were the most desperate.
The fourth reason for prayer is to release our burdens to God. Problems can weigh us down and the way we release them is by placing them in God’s hands through prayer.
4. What did you learn while writing this book?
I’ve learned that praying, or our failure to pray, makes a difference in how things turn out for us. Many good things will not happen in our lives, and in others’ lives, unless we pray. Otherwise, praying wouldn’t serve any purpose.
5. Of all the prayers in the Bible, which is the one that most people overlook, and which is the one you pray the most?
I believe we often overlook Jesus’ command, “Pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). It goes against our nature to pray for those who abuse us, but since Jesus is the one who answers our prayers, He must have told us to do this for a good reason. Praying for your enemies releases the Holy Spirit to convict them of their abusive behavior.
The prayer that I probably pray the most is the prayer of thanksgiving. Jesus healed ten lepers but only one took the time to thank Him. Jesus wanted to know where the other nine were, which means He wants to be thanked. There are hundreds of things to be thankful for every day but we must look for them. As I go throughout the day, I’m continually thanking God for different things. Being thankful also helps me keep a positive attitude.
6. What works can we expect from you in the future?
I’m writing a book of 365 daily devotions. Most of the changes in my life have come from hearing a truthful statement that grabbed my heart. This book will be different from other devotional books because each daily devotional is based on an insight that changed my life.
Kent Crockett’s book, If God Knows What I Need, Why should I Pray? is available for purchase on Hendrickson’s store website.