We’ve started talking about prayer in my Sunday school class.
Many Christians use the phrase “prayer changes things.” And some people at my church certainly would. But some in the class last Sunday also had qualms.
There is a long history of Christians thinking that God will always do what is best, and so asking God to do something else makes no sense – and even if God listened, it would result in something less optimal!
There are also those who think that it is problematic from the perspective of Jesus’ teaching about prayer – we treat it as though we expect to make a difference because we use many words or pray more often.And there are those who think that it leads to dubious statements interpreting God’s alleged actions, which can hurt those who may have prayed just as much or more and yet had things turn out much less well.
But most would agree that prayer can change the one praying. It can express concern, quiet the mind, calm the nerves, and help turn one’s focus outwards from self to others and beyond to a perspective that includes the ultimate, even if it cannot grasp or encompass it.
I’ll leave it at that for now. What are your thoughts on prayer, if any?