Prayer. I still struggle with the question of “Why?” I stumbled across an article at Jewish World Review with one of those titles that are designed to be click bait, “Jews do not pray”. Of course they do. The point he was making was along the lines of my thinking.
“If the Divine is all knowing then why am I telling Him my problems? He already knows them. If the Divine is all-good then why am I asking for Him to change my situation?”His answer involved some sophistry and word games. I did not concentrate on all of his reasoning. It was enough that someone else was asking the question.
I pray. I pray daily. I doubt if I live up to the admonition of Paul in I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing, but I talk to God a fair bit. I even have lists of people and situations I cover.
One of the popular mantras I keep hearing is “Prayer changes things.” I accept the thought but I am not sure I accept it the way it is usually intended. One reason it raises my left eyebrow is that I can’t find that phrase in the Bible, as encouraging as it might be.
My current thinking is that prayer is primarily an activity that benefits us as we pray. I rejected the shopping list type of prayer long ago. I look at it more as a way of communicating which involves listening and pondering more than giving God a piece of my mind. I find that as I offer up praise and thanksgiving it changes my perspective and calls to mind all the times I have had my trust in Him vindicated. It reminds me of who He is.
So I pray. It is not a lecture series. It is more along the line of Bible reading. When I read the Bible I am not looking for proof texts, at least not usually. I am looking while listening. Maybe I can coin a word “lookening”. God speaks to us and the most available way is through His written word.
Keep praying. Keep reading. Keep listening. I hope to be there before you.
homo unius libri