Almost everybody does it… even if its only when things are so bad even an atheist has nowhere to turn.
And there is all kinds of prayers: I want, I need, Thank you, I’m sorry, Please help, Just one more chance, Are you there?, What if, No don’t… and many more.
What is prayer? It’s certainly not just asking for what you want (many times I’ve asked and NOT received what I asked for). It’s certainly not just a ‘last resort’
Prayer, we learn in Scripture, is a way of life… a way of relying on God not just to ‘do’ things, but a way of acknowledging God is the source of all things. We don’t pray just to keep God happy… like we have to feed God’s ego, but rather we pray because everywhere we go and everything we do (we are told) God is present and available to us for strength, guidance… or just plain old ‘I got your back’ support.
In Luke 11:2-4 there is a shortened version of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ (The ‘Our Father’ Prayer) that really sums up the central place prayer is supposed to take in life:
When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.
Or, in other words: God is in control of everything… God has a plan for everything. We can change ourselves to fit what God plans… or lead a life of frustration and failure.
Even beginning to try and meet with God on our journey requires prayer.
One thing I have experienced to be true is this: when we pray to God… something happens (it may not be what we expect), but it is unmistakeable.
Look for it.