Preying on prayer…

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I was taught to pray at an early age by my mother.

I remember waking up many nights and hearing her whispered prayers as she walked through the rooms of the house.

I attended three catholic schools and we prayed before classes, before lunch, after lunch, before we left for school and we prayed just because it was Friday.

My first executive position at church was prayer coordinator for the youth fellowship. Clearly prayer has been a major part of the fabric of my life…just like cotton.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the statement, “Prayer changes things…” but lately I have been asking, what is the purpose of prayer?

Christians believe God to be all knowing, all powerful, all loving, alpha and omega, holding all our future and plans in his hand. His will is described as perfect and he knows what is best for us all. After all, he knew us from we were in our mothers’ wombs. If this is the case, why do we pray? Why ask God to change things since he already knows what is good for us? To think I would have to go to my mother and father every time I have a need that they are already aware of, they have an obligation to fill that need. Isn’t it the same with God? Since he knows what we need why should I have to ask? Can my prayer change the will of God?  

I have often marveled at chaplains and athletes praying for victory, how does God even decide this? How does he pick a team to win or decide that this praying Christian’s request will be granted and the other denied? Surely we have seen people who later are revealed to be cheats win and walk off with the glorious moment of having confetti fall while they are hoisted on the shoulders of others, with the crowd chanting their names and the devout prayer warriors are left in the shadows. How about God allowing people to go on a murderous rampage, then we are urged to pray for the family left in the wake of the tragedy. Pray that “God may comfort them in this hour of need”. This bothers me. There is a school of thought that God allowed it to happen so people will draw closer to Him. seriously… Do I need to show the flaws in that ideology? 

I recognize the need for prayer, it is like a journal that allows people to get rid of some of the issues that plague their minds. It offers a release for many and offers hope in a world that may seem gloomy to some people. I am grateful when people say they will pray for me, not because I believe God may alter his plans for my life but that they care enough to try and have him alter his plans for my life. To say I have removed prayer from my life would be a lie, as there are times I ask for strength and answers to even some of these questions. Sigh, sometimes I wish I had blind-faith like so many Christians I know…oh well I guess I should pray for it….and it r the truth.