Pray every day or just sometimes

What's the point of praying anyway? And how does prayer actually work?

Article | David Wiesner

Almost everyone has done it before. Some do it daily, others only once or twice in a lifetime: Pray.

Summary

  • Whoever speaks to God can easily get the feeling that there is nobody at the other end.
  • When you pray you maintain a friendship and everyone can shape it as they want.
  • Prayer can have unpredictable consequences. This also means that nothing happens.

Don't you get an answer

Tuut… .tuuutt… "Yes, hello?". You yes. Hey, howdy ... I ... "-" Here is the answering machine. You are welcome to leave me a message. "Have you ever fallen for such an answering machine? You think you're talking to someone, but in reality it is not the person's turn.
Does this narration remind you of your own attempts to pray? Very few people can report that God spoke to them audibly. And yet almost everyone in the world has prayed at some point, even if it was just a quick prayer. But is that even useful? And how does prayer actually work?

With prayer you turn to God

Prayer is a central part of most religions. It is no different in Christianity. At one point it says: “Don't stop praying!” (1.Thess 5,17). Nevertheless, there is a lot of uncertainty. How, where, when, how often and what for? The friends of Jesus were also preoccupied with these same questions. Jesus then taught them the “Our Father”. He made it clear that we can turn to God just as we can turn to our parents.

You can pray however you want

In another place Jesus prays, but then again improvised. And that's exactly how you can do it: Sometimes you just want to throw up or thank God. Sometimes it's just a quick prayer, then another song. Or there are also moments when you want to meet God solemnly and formally. And sometimes we just lack words. Then it can be helpful to say a pre-formulated prayer like "Our Father" or simply ask someone else to pray for you. There are myriad forms of prayer to choose from.

Give God and you time

And how do you know you're doing it right? It happens that when people are praying they are touched so much that they cry. One is relieved of a burden, the other feels stimulated to act. In most cases, however, nothing happens.
Unfortunately, God is invisible and therefore what you hear from him is often hidden in detail. If you have the feeling that your prayers are useless and God does not react, then you are in good company. Give yourself and God time, take a break. You can come back anytime, no matter how long you haven't prayed.


prayer

our father in Heaven
Blessed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will will happen,
as in heaven, so on earth.
Our daily bread Give us today.
And forgive us our debts
as we also forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Because yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
for eternity.
Amen.

 

Source: EKD

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Prayer note wall

Prayer means pouring out your heart before God, sharing joy and sorrow with him. This can be done in silence, aloud or in writing: in the prayer corners of churches, in a small book in which intercessions are recorded - or on this prayer sheet wall.

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background

The praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) takes its name from its posture. She often bent her tentacles. It looks like she's praying.
The name "mantis" comes from the Greek and means something like "seer".

Source: iStock_Ilya-Postnikov

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konfiweb.de is an online magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. Every second month there is a new edition which tells with stories, interviews and pictures about life, faith and confirmation. konfiweb.de is a participatory format.