Praying again

(a repost from April 27, 2012)

Dear Jon:

Something just hit me and I hope I don’t get struck down for saying this: I used to pray, something I used to do quietly on my own since I was a kid. But a year ago or so, I began questioning the purpose: If God has a plan for me and knows what I need, why barrage Him with all of these pesky DMs? But, if the purpose of prayer is more to lay our woes at His feet so they aren’t constantly zinging around our heads, then that makes more sense.

Dear friend:

I understand your thinking. I’m wrestling through some of the things that we tell people about prayer myself. What I’m pretty clear about though is that praying is more like this conversation we are having than it is like DM’d spam.

Think about our relationship, you and me. We’ve met face to face just a couple times. But we touch base through twitter pretty often. And we email several times a year. And we are both involved in a group of people who are interacting with each other at least quarterly.

Though we are able to do things for each other, particularly help each other think, the best part of our relationship is that we have a relationship. We are friends in ways that surpass the distance, that surpass the specific actions we can do for each other.

The content of the communication is often less important than the fact that we are interacting. Every touch, every exchange, deepens and enriches our understanding of each other.

I think that’s what God’s desiring as we pray. Doing stuff is part of it. Sometimes it’s handing off woes. But the bigger thing is developing a relationship between persons. With one of those persons being God.