What is prayer? What is its purpose? What does true prayer look like? Can we change what is happening to us or others by praying?
First, let us clarify a principle. “The sun shines on the good and the bad alike. The rain also falls on the good and the bad alike.” We have no control over the sun or the rain. In the same manner, if a gardener, who lives in a dry climate, doesn't water his plants, they will die. So, what is the principle? There are universal laws or principles in this life;; if you follow the principle you will thrive. If you violate the principles, things will not go well with you. It doesn't matter if you are a "godly" person or an ungodly person, believer or unbeliever.
- If you jump off a cliff, you will fall.
- If you consistently overeat, you will get fat.
- If you stop eating anything, you will lose weight.
- If you never eat again you will die.
- If you are shot, you will be wounded or die.
- If you eat poorly and abuse your body, you will not be as healthy as if you eat nutritious foods and take good care of your body.
What am I getting at? If you violate the universal laws you will experience the consequences that are also designed into those laws. It doesn't matter whether you are a sinner or a saint, you will experience those same consequences. It doesn't matter if you pray or not, you will still experiences those same consequences. If you don't want to experience the consequences, then don't violate those laws.
- If you don't want to fall, don't jump off the cliff
- If you don't want to get fat, don't overeat
- If you don't want to lose weight, don't stop eating
- If you don't want to get sick, take good care of your body
What does all of this have to do with prayer? You can't go on violating life's principles and then pray to your idea of God to take away the consequences. It doesn't work like that. Prayer, in this sense, is to focus one's mind on the situation to find the cause. When the cause is identified, then, again, prayer (focusing one's mind on finding a solution) is appropriate to find a solution.
Prayer is not meant to let a person continue to violate the universal laws of creation and not experience the consequences.
Many times the cause of the problem is not apparent. It these cases we need to call in knowledgeable people (elders) to help identify the causes and to help find solutions. (What are elders? Elders represent older or trained people who are experienced in the area of need. For example, doctors who will apply the oil (medicine or treatment))
A large part of prayer is learning to train your thinking and your awareness to
The reality is that both the righteous and the unrighteous will both experience the consequences of any of life's situations. The main difference between a righteouls and an unrighteous person is in one's response to the situation. "keep a good attitude".. makes all the difference in the world in the outcome of the situation.