Does prayer work?

What does it mean to pray? Why do we pray? Do you pray the same way today as you did as a child? What form of prayer invites you to listen instead of talking?

I have people in my life who are ill. I have people in my life who are grieving a death. I have people in my life who are happy. I have people in my life that haven't got a clue. So where does prayer come in?

Is it saying one does not trust God if one realizes that God really doesn't answer prayer?You ask here whether people mean prayers? When people pray, I believe they mean prayer as they are able to or in the capacity to which they see God. They pray with a wish list and if it isn't fulfilled then they look at it that someone "deserved" it. This archaic way of looking at God stops people from really feeling the depth and the breath of God. Like a child on December 1st making the Santa wish list. All through the month they are told, "be good or Santa won't bring you what you want."

In the book I am reading, Praying in the Messiness of Life by Linda Douty, where I found the prayer by Garnass-Holmes, {previous post}, Douty says, "Maybe to say prayer works really means that we trust God to be with us in a profound and sustaining way, regardless of how things turn out..... prayer is more about [the] relationship than results." But that is Douty... most people will say they pray looking for God to do something. But when they do not trust God's presence in their life and do not see the authentic presence of God these prayers can sound empty.

Here I am preaching this and not following God's presence myself ... showing my humanness of anger, frustration and arrogance in order to hide my hurt and fear. But I take great comfort in the fact that I come around. Most people don't ... they live this fairy tale existence, trying to believe something that is impossible to understand and believe, instead of getting to the ultimate truth; as opposed to teenage truth as per Marcus Borg, truth as that wich is factual.

It is scary for people when they face down that the God they are praying to really has little control over the future ... that life is what it is. That is not cynicism, it is great faith in its essence and a true understanding of God's plan. I was chatting with someone who made the comment I am usually in the right place at the right time.... I corrected her and said no, that I simply trust that there is an ultimate plan and when we choose not to fight and manipulate our lives but let life happen then it works. I told her not that I think there is someone in "up there" playing chess and we are the pawns but that there is a pattern and cosmic life's journey that we have to trust.

Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!!

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