“Why do you pray?”

Samuel and his Ingush friend Emin were riding in a car together, and Samuel was curious what Emin’s response would be.

Emin paused for a moment and said, “Praying reminds me to put aside my bad thoughts and calms my rage towards others. It’s my duty to pray, and it helps earn me righteousness. If I don’t pray, it’s a grave offense against Allah.”

As Emin finished his explanation, Samuel nodded and sat silent for a bit. He felt he needed to respond simply to Emin’s well-crafted thoughts. After some time, he said, “I’m a bad person, but Jesus saved me. I love Him. I pray because I love God.”

Samuel sensed that Emin’s heart was not satisfied in working to appease Allah without ever really knowing if Allah loved him. Samuel explained how Jesus loved him and freely died for him so that he could know God. Emin grew silent and did not speak the rest of the car ride, clearly deep in thought.

Please pray for Emin, that he will someday pray to the Father not from obligation or fear, but from an overflow of love and gratitude.

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