Prayer is an interesting topic in regards to happiness. It means so many different things to different people. To some, it’s just bull. To others, it’s as critical to life as the air we breathe. That’s quite a spectrum.
Briefly, and I’ll lean on Willard for this, prayer is simple. It’s not a “heroic” action. It’s a simple request similar to how a child asks his father for ice cream.
It’s okay to pray about the regular aspects and needs of our life – home, work, shopping, money…etc. We don’t have to pray for world peace – though we can if it’s what we desire.
God never plays games with prayer.
Some believe that things will workout regardless, and that going through the motions of prayer is a “dead ritual,” in Willard’s words. It’s not. My kids ask for ice cream all the time. Sometimes they want it with chocolate sprinkles, others times with chocolate sauce – sometimes plain – sometimes with everything. I do my best to fulfill their specific requests – so does God.
Sometimes we’re just not ready for what we’re asking, or it’s just not what’s best for us. For example, my kids have been asking for a dog for years. It’s a great request! However, it has not been in the best interest of our family.
Others offer prayers of thanksgiving in a twisted attempt that they will somehow put God in their debt. It just doesn’t work that way.
Here’s how it works, and why it’ll make anyone who experiences it overjoyed. Imagine we’re 5-years-old. It’s a hot summer day. We’re walking down the street holding our dad’s hand. We hear that familiar tune. We scream, ICE CREAM MAN!
Dad smiles. 5 minutes later ice cream is dripping through our fingers.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson