To what degree is conversation among friends analogous to our prayer communication with God?  For example, if I ask Joe to help me fix the brakes on my car, the request could indicate several things such as –

  1. “I need your advice but I will do the actual work.”
  2. “I need some money to buy all the parts I need, or to pay for the job to be done at a car repair shop.”
  3. “I need your physical strength to help me do what I can’t do on my own.”
  4. “I need you to actually do the physical work, because I am too incapacitated or sick to do it myself.”

In other words, my situation conditions what I hope Joe will do in response to my request.  It appears that this situation with my friend and me has a parallel with my prayers of request to God, in which I ask God to do something.  Consequently, I find myself asking the following rhetorical questions –

  1. Does prayer require me to be somewhat self analytical?
  2. Does God not understand the reason for my prayer if I understand it or not, and respond according to what He knows is behind the prayer, not just to the words?
  3. In fact, are the words of the prayer not just a part (perhaps a small part) of what is really going on?