Saturday, August 1, 2009

Prayer - does it really matter?

I bet you saw the title and thought, "She's on a downer." No really I'm not. I have had this question posed to me a couple of times in the last couple of months...and I am at a place where I can really think about it...again. Why pray?

I contemplated this question shortly after Kade's death. I mean - if God is sovereign and He knows what He's going to do and things are going to happen according to God's plan, does it really matter if I pray? or...can God's mind be changed with prayer? or...we pray and the harder we pray the worse things get? What's up with that one?

I think the bottom line answer to the question is prayer isn't about us. Prayer isn't about getting our way or getting God to be our own personal genie. Prayer is about relationship. When I pray, I am talking to God, my Father, my Friend, my Savior, my Comforter, my Deliverer, my Provider, everything.

I was thinking about this question the other day and the comparison came to mind of parent/child relationship. My mother and I are very close. Growing up, I could talk to her about anything. I spent a lot of time with my mom talking in the car or just around the house and when I married and moved off I still called her a lot...about anything and everything. The thing about my mom is that if she could fix a problem for me, she would - come hell or high water - if it was in her power to help me, she did. Or if she felt I needed something she got it. If she found something she knew I would like, she bought it. If she couldn't fix it for me - like my broken heart - she was there to hold me and comfort me and tell me she loved me. I saw her love for me in her eyes and actions. And her prayers - I was on every prayer list she could get me on because in her weakness and powerlessness she knew the One who could help me. My mother loves me with everything that is inside of her and I am pretty sure she would give her life for me. My mom and I are close because we have shared our hearts with one another.

Prayer is communication with the God that loves me so much He died for me. Everything my mom feels for me and does for me is minute compared to what God can do and does for me. Spending time with God in prayer develops a relationship that cannot be created any other way other than by time being spent with him. In the movie, "Elf", Buddy quickly discovers the "false" Santa. He knew the real "Santa" because he had lived with Santa, worked for Santa, and talked with Santa. Buddy tells the fake Santa, "You don't smell like him." You don't know how someone smells unless you have been next to them. That is what prayer does for you. It puts you next to God so you can smell him. It doesn't matter whether you get what you want or whether you get the relief you seek- what matters is that you know the One in control and you know Him well enough to trust him with your life. And you may not understand. But you know the One who does get it and has it all under control.

So - what do you think? Why pray?