Prayer is important, but even the devout are confused by different aspects of it. Here are some answers to five common questions about prayer.
Does God need our praise and adoration?
No. In fact, God doesn’t need anything from us. He is the fullness of existence and therefore sufficient unto Himself. Our praise and adoration don’t add any glory to Him that He doesn’t already possess.
Praising God does do something to us: It puts us in a right relationship with our Creator and Father.
Is God unaware of our needs?
God knows everything we need (and want) before we even ask. Yet, we still need to pray. Our heavenly Father has foreordained that certain graces be given through prayer.
Yes, He could have given all graces to us without anyone asking, but He wants us to be active participants in His plan, not passive observers.
Can prayer change God’s mind?
As a perfect being, God cannot change. Change implies imperfection because when something changes, it either loses something it possessed or gains something it formerly lacked.
Any “change” we experience as the result of prayer is not a change in God’s mind, but a change in us that God — in His eternal plan — willed to grant through our prayer.
Why does God take so long to answer my prayer?
He doesn’t do it to tease you or drive you to despair, although it can feel that way at times. It’s not always good for you to get what you need right away, as you may not appreciate the gift as deeply as you would have otherwise. God knows the right time and place for His response to benefit you the most.
Is praying to the saints going behind God’s back?
No. We don’t pray to the saints because we think they’ll be more likely to hear us than God. God created us to be in communion with each other and help each other meet our material and spiritual needs. Those in heaven are still in communion with us and more powerful than those on earth since they’re in God’s presence.
Ultimately, prayer is a relationship. Like any human relationship, both parties have their roles. Have you talked to your heavenly Father today?