We could probably come up with several reasons to pray with earnestness. Here are three that stand out to me.
First of all, we should pray with earnestness because of our great need for God. Truth has gone out the window, sin is rampant, and the world is lost. Where once swearing and dirty talk was forbidden on TV and radio, now it is common place and even applauded. Where once adultery, immorality and divorce were shameful, now it is accepted as the norm, even among those who say they are Christians. Today pornography is everywhere; you can’t go anywhere or do anything without seeing it. Yes, we (all people) have a great need for God and for moral purity. For this reason, prayer is needed—earnest prayer is needed!
Secondly, we should pray with earnestness because it is the way Jesus prayed and the way He would want us to pray. For He was in all points tempted as we are (Heb. 4:15), yet He always overcame temptation by earnest prayer. In Hebrews 5:7 it says, “During the day of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and he was heard because of His reverent submission” (NIV).
Thirdly, earnestness is the way God has ordained for us to break through to Heaven in order to obtain the blessings He wants to give us. For God has “Blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and in order to actually take and receive those blessings it will take earnest prayer.
And why is this so? It is because the flesh and the devil are strong and stubborn, and we need God’s strength to clear our mind of evil and selfishness—so that we can see clearly to set our mind on things above (Col. 3:2). As E. M. Bounds has stated, “The atmosphere about us is too heavily charged with resisting forces for limp or languid prayers to make headway. It takes heat, and fervency and meteoric fire, to push through, to the upper heavens, where God dwells with His saints, in light.”4
4 E. M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1976), p. 57.