What Does Happen When We Pray?

At major transitions in life it matters when we think about prayer. I guess the intensity and anxiety raises the bar for us to think about a higher power to set things in perspective in life, when we go through struggles.

Well these are just musings right at the top of my head right now and not something I’m reflecting on a passage or something like that so mind the hints of doubts and questions.

I wonder, when we do go in prayer and make petitions to God, whom we consider compassionate and loving, are we actually asking God to answer our prayers according to our askings? Or when God seems not to answer them in that manner, we revert to the idea that the act of prayer is just a mechanism that changes us and not the situation.

I read Jerry Sittser’s book a few years back, and just recalling roughly what he said, prayer changes us and not some form of seeking God to answer our prayers the way we want him to. Not exactly his words but this somehow plays to the idea of God being sovereign. The title of the book was “When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayer.”

But, is that a cop out? I mean, i do understand the context that he was writing the book, where a tragedy had occured and prayer seems unanswered. There was a time when I took things like what Sittser had proposed in the book but, there are junctures in life where we sometimes want God to answer the petitions we lift up to him.

There is the famous slogan that reads “pray until something happens.” This takes prayer as something that can be answered, and should be answered. It speaks of persistance and a longing anticipation that an answer will come.

But in both instances it seems that the best way to put it is that prayer can be both. Well, this needs more reflection on my part but just taking this conversation as it is, it sure looks that way.

I wonder, how do you view prayers? Are your vies like the ones i stated above or is there a third way?

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