what IS prayer??

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?

[quote=Charboneau] Everything that happens is the will of God (passive or direct). How can our prayers make any difference?
[/quote]

Because we also have free will? We have the freedom to pray or not, to talk to God or not, to be obedient or not, to love God or not. “Pray without ceasing,” maybe because that’s the only way to receive the joys and graces which He intends for His creations?

For instance, God knows what’s troubling us - but I think He wants to hear what we think is troubling us, to acknowlede in ourselves what is troubling us. I think He wants us to trust Him with our thoughts and trust Him to anwer. When we tell him of where our pain is, we are opening our minds and hearts to corrections of error in our thinking and to solutions and to inspiration.

He knows what blesses our lives, but I think He wants to know from us what we think is blessing our lives. When we give thanks and praise for beauty and love and graces in our lives, we are opening our minds and hearts to the awareness of other blessings that we might not have seen, before if we spend time talking with God.

How many times has it happened that what you thought was a problem turned out to be a blessing? If your awareness is not heightened by prayer, would you notice that a miracle has occurred? That change in perception or circumstance that makes a curse into a blessing?

I think He wants us to spend time talking to Him and listening for His answer.

As to what is prayer, I think you’re really asking, “What is it’s purpose?” If that’s what you mean, then I would guess that there must be many purposes - as many purposes as there are prayers answered, at least.

I don’t know as that’s any help - I’m pretty new to this. But, that’s just my take on one aspect of your question.

God bless you!
Elizabeth

Prayer is the “intimate conversation of lovers.”

I think somebody said this, but I simply can’t recall who, nor am I sure it’s an exact quote. (So much for my memory these days). That being said, I hope this is some “food” for thought. :slight_smile:

[quote=Charboneau]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.
[/quote]

I don’t suppose we will know in this world, either - one definition is, “the lifting of our hearts & minds to God in love”

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.

God has no* need* of our activity - by involving us, He gives us a share as agents of His own activity.

So our activity in prayer matters :slight_smile: ##

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?

[size=3]Everything that happens is the will of God (passive or direct). How can our prayers make any difference? [/size]

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?

Pose the question: Would the kid have been saved if we DID NOT pray?
If God already knows what will happen and all the such… He knew you would pray… So maybe that had an effect…
I think prayer is just more so for us… So we can try and feel closer to God and just confidide in him and find the courage to talk to others.

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