Prayer…. Man’s ultimate act of hoping. It’s mostly in times of despair and trouble that people seek prayer. And when all other things fail, one will always pray.
When our prayers don’t get answered, Christians always say: “maybe it is not God’s will.” This a such a lame excuse when they don’t really have any real, practical or sensible answer to give. They just throw it to an abstract.
First of all, there is no point in praying because all these things that happen in our life (when, what and how) have already been predetermined. (See my post on Predeterminism)
God already knows your needs even before you even knew them, before you even ask for them (Mathew 6:8, New American Bible).
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
In Mathew 7:7-8 (New American Bible), Jesus said:
7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Jesus was referring to use prayer to seek God, to honour Him, to praise Him. He wasn’t describing about asking for things of this earth or for asking for help. Therefore, prayer is an exercise in futility because it’s sole purpose and function is only to worship God and to seek His God’s Kingdom, nothing else. It is not for asking for anything.
God is a jealous and insecure god (He categorically stated it Himself in the 4th Commandment). The very first 4 Commandments (Exodus 20:3-11, New American Bible ) are all about Him and for Him:
3 You shall not have other gods beside me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
5 You shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; 6 but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not invoke the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.[d] For the Lord will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. 9 Six days you may labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.