Dr. Dan Hayden •

Sometimes it’s important to do something even if we don’t understand it. It was the great evangelist Vance Havner who said, “I don’t understand electricity, but I’m not going to sit around in the dark until I do.”

Tom was a Christian businessman, and he was struggling with a decision. He had a good job with a promising future, but a rival company was offering him more money to come with them. It was a tempting offer. What should he do? Then a friend gave him some good advice. “You know, Tom,” he said, “you really ought to pray about it.” “Yeah, I know,” Tom responded, “but, quite frankly, I’m a little frustrated. I don’t know what to pray.” “Well,” said his friend, “I can understand your confusion, but you really ought to do it anyway.”

“Ought” suggests that it’s the right thing to do. It’s not just a good thing to do.

When the Apostle Paul wrote about the problem we often have in understanding prayer, he didn’t give us an excuse to quit praying until we understand it better. He said we ought to do it even if we don’t understand it. In Romans 8:26 he says, “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought…”


The word, “ought” is the Greek word Deo. It means “to bind something; to be tied to something.” Paul is saying that prayer is what binds us to God.

So, even though Romans 8:26 says that you may not know what to pray, it goes on to say that you ought to pray anyway.

Have a good day, and remember, praying is not just a good thing to do—it’s the right thing to do.

For further study, see The Prayer Puzzle.