Why Pray?

Right now, one of my good neighbors, a 30ish mother of a 4 year old, is struggling with brain cancer. Brain cancer (especially when preceded by other cancers as is her case) is fatal — very few people escape with their lives. So, I’ve been thinking along the same lines as another person who posted to one of the mailing lists that I’m on. His godfather is facing cancer and he is wondering “Why do we pray? It seems to do so little.”

A good friend of mine (the man behind the Fr. Men website) responded thus:

Prayer is a relationship.

Prayer is a relationship.

Prayer is a relationship.

Through relationships we can learn “wisdom, courage, purpose, and identity.” We can also learn that we are not in control of every event in life.

God is not a candy dispenser.

But prayer is a relationship.

Which puts a whole different twist on things. God is not a candy dispenser, but he is a loving father. And a father cares for his children. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? … how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

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