We are so used to getting what we want. We go to a store and get what we are looking for. We stand in front of a vending machine and make our selection, and the item comes down the tray. We push some buttons on an ATM machine and money appears.
Prayer is different. It is not automatic or mechanical, as in “I tell God what I want and, therefore, I get it.” Prayer is the focus in the Liturgy of the Word today. We hear something about how to pray. (Jesus teaches us the Our Father.) We also reflect on why we pray. Is it to tell God what we want? Or is it to stand before God in a transparent way regarding what is really going on in our lives? In the end, prayer changes us, not God.
Here are some questions to ponder regarding your experience of being a pray-er: What is prayer like for you now? What is your understanding of prayer? Why do you pray?