I’ve always felt a little bit like prayer had no purpose other than as a ritual to demonstrate how much I loved God. I was certainly no expert in the in’s and out’s of Omnipresent and Omniscient, but I was pretty sure that God knew everything I was praying about. So naturally I often wondered, what’s the purpose of this anyway?
Am I reminding God of something he forgot about? Does he ever get a startled look on his face when I pray "God, so distant and powerful, I want to remind you about that thing that my friend is dealing with right now." He never actually answered me by saying "Oh yeah, that thing…. Don’t worry, I got it covered, thanks for reminding me….", so I always suspected it was kind of pointless to bring up stuff as if he didn’t already know.
But something inside me knew that there had to be a reason to pray for someone. We’re not alerting God of a situation he wasn’t aware of. He’s not watching our prayers like we watch the news to get the latest updates. He’s already ahead of us on all of this stuff, but there has to be some reason he wants us to pray.
In order to understand it, I think we have to look at what his entire purpose of creating us was. Relationship. For whatever reason, God keeps wanting to involve us in his will on earth. Sounds crazy, knowing how good I am at taking care of my own responsibilities, but for some reason he gives me the opportunity to interject my disfunctions into his divine will instead of just letting me sit on the sidelines.
So I think I’m starting to learn that prayer is not about waking God up from his power nap after church to remind him that one of my friends just got fired and needs a job. It’s about realizing that he’s already working in that person’s life, and all he wants me to do is agree with him here on earth that I want His will to be done in that person’s life.
"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven".