The Purpose of Prayer

We have a question from one of our new followers: Yvette.  Thanks for joining the conversation, Yvette!!

Let me begin by sharing with you Yvette’s question.  She wrote:  “I have been pondering lately the reason for prayer. Is it to make us feel better? I mean, I understand having a conversation with God–but most pray for things from God– and if that is the purpose of praying to God, it’s 50/50 your prayers will be answered, so you are left believing your faith was not strong enough. What is the purpose?”

The purpose of prayer – at least for me, Yvette – is to strengthen my relationship with/connection to God.  Just as our relationships with loved ones grow deeper when we spend time basking in their presence, so to does our relationship with/connection to God grow deeper when we spend time basking in God’s presence.

I would also add I don’t believe the primary purpose of prayer is to change God (i.e. “Dear God, please interrupt the course of Aunt Jane’s cancer and remove the illness.”).  I see its primary purpose is to change us and how we are affected by the events around us.

So what about you?  What do you think?

  1. Keep the GREAT questions coming J

About Pastor Craig

I'm a 54-year-old who lives in Los Angeles, CA with his black Labrador Retriever named Max. I'm an ordained clergy person in the United Church of Christ. My passions include spirituality, politics, and sports (Go Houston teams, go!). I use my blog to start conversations rather than merely spout my perspectives and opinions. I hope you'll post a question, comment, or observation for me to respond - so we can get the conversation started!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Purpose of Prayer

  1. Sandi Daniel says:

    Love your essays, Craig – you’re always spot on! Adding one thing that I believe that prayer does is that it helps us face the direction where the ‘answers are.’ the ones that are best for us. Prayer gives us an opportunity to see the answers more clearly, possibly through other persons or events.

    Moving another direction, saw “127 Hours” recently, about Aron Ralston getting so stuck in a Utah canyon that he severed is own arm with a swiss-army knife to escape. At one point he says “This rock has been waiting for me my entire life.” What do you think about his statement from the point of view that each of us is preprogrammed in advance and we cannot escape our destiny. which his statement would seem to imply. Are all of us ‘set up,’ so to speak? How does being in the wrong place at the wrong time enter into this or does it? Where was God with Aron those hours?

    • capete67 says:

      Hi Sandi! Thanks for your good words. I somehow missed your post. Sorry about that 😦 I’m not someone who believes that God specifically arrangements each and every element of our day. The consequences of free will play out in such a way that each of us can control (at least to some degree) the circumstances to which we enter. I believe, for instance, that Aron chose to go rock climbing that day rather than God dictating that Aron went rock climbing that day. Regardless of our choice, I do believe that God is with us each and every step of the way: encouraging, empowering, and enabling us to make the best of each circumstance. Aron certainly took an unbelievable set of circumstances and made the best of them. He is a powerful model for me to learn from. Thanks for sharing Aron’s story with us!

  2. BOB MERKLE says:

    Apparently God already knows and is doing whatever is needed, so prayer is acknowledging, aligning with, and expressing gratitude for what is known and being done. When Jesus was asked by the disciples to explain what he did to perform a healing miracle, he responded (loosely translated) “I did not do it; God is always working; I just note, and go along with what is already being done.”

  3. ybabb001 says:

    When does faith and hope become enough that it is okay to give up? And how condemned are you when you give up, if God knows your pain, faults and deficiencies??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s