Prayer... What's the deal?
Prayer is a strange thing. It seems like we are treating God like Santa Claus by bringing our list of wants to Him. I have wondered why we even pray if God is all-powerful and already knows what is going to happen. Why bother? Other times I have wondered why God seems to answer some prayers and not others. Does God only answer the prayers of people who have it all together? I even have silly questions like “What if two equal football teams pray to win the football game… who wins?” If God answers our prayers and sends a hurricane away from us… what about the people who it hits? Did they pray less? Are they worse people than us? There is a lot to this thing called prayer.
Many of these answers are unknowable and would probably crash our hard drive if God explained them to us. There are a couple of things that I do know about prayer that make it a great joy:
My main reason for prayer is not that it gets me what I want. My main reason to pray is that God likes it when I pray. Getting what I want from Him is not as important as giving God what He wants – ME.
God does hear and answer prayer. Prayer does make a difference. God has given us this tool both to get to know Him better and to ask for things that we want and need.
Prayer is more about us lining up with His will than getting Him to line up with ours. Remember Jesus’ prayer “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. It is not “my will be done in heaven as it is on earth”. That is a big difference.
I define prayer as – “talking to God about anything and everything and listening to God talk to me about anything and everything.”
Prayer is more about intimacy with God that it is about giving God my wish list or informing Him about things He already knows.
Prayer is not so much a formal speech as it is a gut level discussion with someone I love and who loves me.
Maybe the most important thing about prayer is that we do it. I don’t know how long you are supposed to pray each day or what position your body should be in or if you should speak in King James English. I just know God likes... so I do it. The apostle Paul said it best in I Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually”. One translation says, “Never stop praying”. That is a simple truth that keeps prayer from becoming complicated.