For many people, prayer is a simple topic. You ask God for something and God decides whether or not to grant the request. There’s not much to think about.
Or is there?
What actually happens when we pray? When we pray, does God take into consideration our request and adjust his actions accordingly? Would God be more likely to heal that person if more people were praying or if they had more faith?
And what if God is indeed outside of time? God would not be receiving prayer requests sequentially but would always know immediately all of the prayers from all of human history.
Does God care about the content of our prayers? Is prayer meant to affect our circumstances or is prayer meant just to help us feel closer to God?
To be honest, I don’t have the answers. I pray as if God takes my prayers into account and I hope that my circumstances will reflect God’s answer to that prayer. But I cannot explain how that fits with all of the attributes of God that we generally agree on.
And yet we are called to pray. And we see Jesus provide the example of prayer to Abba, Father. And prayer seems to have an impact on us. And it looks as if God answers those prayers in some way.
I am skeptical when I hear people try to give a fully developed explanation of how God works and interacts with creation. It sometimes feels like we make God an object of study the way we would study any living being within creation.
At one time I would have wanted an explanation of how things work. Now I am more content with mystery.
I really do not understand how prayer works but I will continue to pray.
The post We Don’t Have to Fully Understand Prayer appeared first on Stephen J. Bedard.
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