I understand that prayer is very important. I also completely believe in the efficacy of prayer as I have seen it work many times in my own life. I have read a lot of books that talk about how to pray. What I don’t understand is what IS prayer.
If God is all knowing (He already knows what we need—more then we do!), All powerful, and unchanging, then how do our prayers matter? After all, if God is unchanging, then its not like we can ask Him to do something he wasn’t going to do anyway—we can’t change his mind like we might change the mind of a friend when we ask them a favor.
Example: The kid of a friend of mine was very sick. He was not expected to live. A large group of us prayed very hard for about a week, and the child made a miraculous recovery. The doctors where shocked. The father of the child told me that our prayers had cured the kid. How can this be? Is it really write to think that the kid would have died had not we prayed for him?
Everything that happens is the will of God (passive or direct). How can our prayers make any difference?