Right? That's what I always thought... until I became ill. Then, my whole world of understanding food was shaken to the ground. I found out I was allergic to corn, rice, wheat and milk. This meant that I could no longer eat anything processed or in a restaurant. Luckily, I can eat crab legs (yum!) but that was about it. This all opened my eyes up to the roots of food, how it's made, it's purpose and how blind I had been all of my life.
My point isn't food, but I'm sure you knew that. My question is... do we really understand prayer? I see "prayer" all over Facebook. People are asking for prayer, and giving prayer on a daily basis. It's a necessity of life! We don't always understand why things are happening, and so our final plea for understanding or change... is prayer.
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. We ask God to work in our life or to help someone else, a friend, coworker, a child or spouse. But has prayer become a one-sided conversation in our culture? We beg God for understanding or change, but do we really listen? I mean really listen. Let's compare God's relationship as our heavenly Father to a child's relationship to his earthly father. Little Lilli begs her daddy, "Please daddy teach me to play the piano like you! I want to play in the band just like you." And her father without hesitation says, "Yes child, come over to the piano." What if Lilli doesn't take that first step? What if she refuses to simply sit at the piano? Do you think her father will have a hard time teaching her to play? What if she does take that first step but refuses to take what her daddy is teaching her and put it into practice? Do you think she will progress? I don't think so. Will she master the piano if she doesn't listen to the instruction her daddy gives? I don't think so.
It is the same with our heavenly Father. We beg of him, "Father please help me understand! Father please change this situation for me!" And God is saying, "My child come to me. Let me speak to you and show you my ways!"
The psalmist said it beautifully, "Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you." Psalm 86:11
This is our prayer to God. Are you listening to Him?
Where does God speak? He speaks to us in His Word. He's given us all of His teaching through His Son Christ and His Word. "Child, come to the piano so I can teach you to play." Child, come to my Word so I can teach you My ways, so that I may give you understanding. Come to me so that I can show you how to live life and find peace."
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
If you need prayer.... not just prayer.... but "answered" prayer. Then pick up God's Word, and let Him talk to you. He's got a lot to say and He desires a relationship with you.
But of course, Jesus' teaching is better than mine ;)
Here's what He says about prayer: (Luke 11:1-13)
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
3 Give us each day the food we need,[b]
4 and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Keep praying. Pick up His Word and let Him speak. God is near to us.