People sometimes ask: Why pray? Will it change the will of God, or budge Him in any way?
As parents, we do sometimes change our minds and give way to our children’s demands, (eventually), especially when they go on and on about something that they want. Perhaps they make us see reason and we oblige them because we love them.
Are we to believe that our Father in Heaven loves us less than we love our own children? That He will not give us what we ask Him?
In Luke 18:2, Jesus tells the story of a widow who pestered a judge for so long that he eventually gave in and helped her. This parable teaches us not to be discouraged and always pray to God for our needs. Not what we want. But what we need.
Yet again, in the Lord's Prayer, we are taught to ask God our Father, and we will receive.
So then, how about praying to God? Will our prayers change His mind, or His will? Or are His plans for us already set out and no prayers will change them?
Over the years I have learnt that by praying, especially when praying for others, God does listen and sometimes our prayers are answered.
Whether He answers our prayers because we prayed, or He meant to answer them anyway (i.e. it was His will all along); is a debating point which can go on for ever - without us reaching a conclusion.
This is simply because we are not meant to understand Him, and to understand the reasoning behind His actions.
He is God. We are not.
We really should stop bringing Him down to our level by trying to understand Him with human minds.
However, the fact that we don’t understand how, when and why our prayers are sometimes answered and sometimes not is not a good reason for us to stop praying.
It is sufficient to learn from Christ, who prayed to God many times, and who encouraged us to do the same.
And when we pray we should do so in thanksgiving, in hope, and in the sure knowledge that He is listening.