Why I Pray
I pray to enjoy conversation with God and to bring Him pleasure. I pray also to meditate or to think through the things of God I've either read in His Word or other sacred literature, or heard from others, or just seen in nature or the world around me.
Furthermore, I pray to ask God for things or for help in times of need—sometimes for me, sometimes for others. And, finally, I pray because sometimes I just need someone to listen to me (and to bounce ideas off of) as I try to make sense of my thoughts and feelings about the things I've experienced in the past or going through in the present or hope to go through in the future.
Regarding God's ultimate plans and how my prayers fit into those or, perhaps, influence them, I don't really have a good answer for you. Theologians have been arguing about this issue for thousands of years, and they've never been able to come up with an ultimate answer. Given this, I'm probably not going to come up with one either.
But, I do have to think...
First Point: God is sovereign—this I know. Ultimately, His overarching plans will be accomplished.
Second Point: God commands us to pray for others, and to not give up on those prayers until we have what we ask for.
Third Point: God answers prayer and intervenes (though not always in the ways we might like) in the situations we talk about with Him.
Fourth Point: I don't really have a fourth point, except to refer you to the first three points, I think they're what's most important.
As C.S. Lewis might write, you and I don't need to understand how food supplies us nutritionally to reap the benefits of eating. There's something in the relationship between God's providence and the freewill of humankind that necessitates our standing in the gap on behalf of others. How it works—as I indicated above—I don't rightly know. I can tell you, though, it works; there's just something about prayer that either moves God's Heart (by our loving persistence) or opens an avenue to the heart of another human being that allows God to intervene while at the same time respecting completely the free will of that individual. Again, I cannot tell you how it works, only that it does, and that I'm very grateful for it.
Peace to you...
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice