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 –
- “I need your advice but I will do the actual work.”
- “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.”
- “I need your physical strength to help me do what I can’t do on my own.”
- “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 –
- Does prayer require me to be somewhat self analytical?
- 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?
- In fact, are the words of the prayer not just a part (perhaps a small part) of what is really going on?