I’ve been thinking and reading about prayer more and more, and finding more questions and a even a few answers along the way.
I’m basing my beliefs/discoveries about prayer on three assumptions:
-God is capable of hearing payers (already covered this last time, but feel free to click here to read)
Okay, so with that established, here is where I am now:
Prayer is a way to re-align my perspective and a way for me to respond to His ever present presence. This implies and confirms that humans are created to have a relationship with God.
The glaring answer to accomplish this is prayer. I have heard it said that prayer is for our benefit not God’s (duh). But thinking of prayer within that frame or as a useful exercise seems selfish and an easy means to an end. It is the equivalent as writing in a journal- helpful, but one sided. Jesus prayed all the time, I can’t help but to expect more from prayer.
Relationships are a two way street. Face it, if we got together for coffee and spent an hour looking at each other and not talking, it would be a little weird. We expect conversation. I say something, you respond, you say something, I respond. Prayer does not always follow that pattern. It’s more like, I say something, silence, I say something again. Sometimes I sense God’s promptings, sense His presence etc. Sometimes I get nothing.
Back to relationships. The best relationships require a time investment. The more time spent together, the easier and quicker you can move past ‘how’s the weather’ conversations to the ‘how are you really doing?’ conversations. The more time invested in relationships, the more likely you are to say, “Hi, it’s me” rather than, “Hi, this is Angela” when the other person picks up the phone. I’m finding the same goes for prayer. The more time I spend in prayer, the easier it becomes to recognize God’s response. The more time I spend in prayer, the conversations move from, “God, please give me ______” to “God, you know I really need________”. Prayer helps move things from a dialogue where I am informing God to a conversations where I am including God so He can care about it with me.
So why pray if the Bible tells us that God knows what we need before we ask? Because “the more I know someone, the less information needs to be communicated.”
*Currently reading: Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?