U.S. News and World Report in December of 2004 did a magazine focusing on the power of prayer: Jeffrey L. Shelter wrote in his article, "The Power of Prayer":
"A pierced and tattooed man quietly bows his head at a noisy lunch counter. A child in pink pajamas kneels at her bedside and recites a familiar blessing. A baseball player crosses himself as he steps to the plate on national television. A white-haired woman lights a candle and weeps silently into her handkerchief for her dying husband. A dark-suited minister prays for peace on Earth, and the Congregation in one voice cries out, "Amen."
Prayer has become familiar terrain in modern America. It is woven into the daily rhythms of life, its ethos embedded in the public and private experiences of millions. Indeed, a recent Roper poll found that nearly half of all Americans said they pray or meditate every day-far more than those who regularly participate in religious services. Over the centuries, its practitioners have included saints and scoundrels, skeptics and believers, the meek and the mighty-people of every creed and culture and of every station in life who, whether out of pious faith or primal fear, have reached out to a reality greater than themselves. Prayer has been called the native language of the soul and the universal expression of an innate human desire to make contact with the divine.”
I read that article and my heart and mind resonates with its assertion. But I like many of you are still left to ask the question, “Why?” Why pray? Does prayer really matter? Is the time that we spend in prayer worthwhile or is it just wasted time? Does prayer make any difference? Is prayer really nothing more than just some sort of pious self-talk? Does the God of the universe really care about little ol’ me? Can God possibly care about my prayers? Why pray if God already knows everything anyway?
On Sunday we will be looking deeper into these questions as we dig deeper into this very important aspect of our faith and relationship with God.
I will be looking for you on Sunday!