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Prayer is one of those things.  You know, one of those things that either frustrates, intimidates, confuses or scares people.

How often are shown how prayer is “supposed” to work?  It’s often shown as just another way of asking for more stuff – as if God were a supernatural Amazon.com with and amazing credit policy.

But that’s not how prayer works.

Prayer isn’t a one-way monologue with God, telling God, or pleading with God, what we want and why.  Prayer isn’t cutting some kind of deal with God either.

Prayer is a conversation with God.  Prayer is listening, just as much as it is talking.  In fact, you’ll often receive far more from listening than talking.  Of course, this is true in other areas of life as well.

I like what Brian Zahnd wrote about prayer.

I’ve come to realize that the main purpose of prayer is not to change the world, but to change me…and I am under the assumption that this will take a lifetime.

Here’s another way of looking at it.  While we make requests and petition God for certain things, prayer is ultimately a realignment project.  It’s our opportunity to realign ourselves with God’s will – to talk our way through the process with someone who cares.

There aren’t any perfect prayers.  There aren’t any perfect words for prayer either.  But prayer is just like most things – the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.  And when you start, you’ll feel like you suck.  But that’s ok.  Keep plugging away.  You’re worth it.