Prayer - Does it Matter? Does it Work? Why Bother?

Ever feel like your prayers fall on deaf ears, that its just a waste of time?  I've been there, heck I'm there.  Life has a way of throwing you curve balls that cause you to strike out.  Ever feel bone tired but unable to sleep?  Drained of all emotion and left feeling lost wanting to give up?  Ever wonder if God really cares?

Everyone of us has a sob story, a feel sorry for ourselves, all out no one loves me type of story.  We pray and believe that our prayers have fallen on deaf ears or worse they've been heard but God just doesn't care. 

We watch the news and believe that the world is the worst it has ever been and it can't get any worse.  When in reality its better in so many ways then when the Romans ruled the known world, then when Genghis Khan ran rampant throughout central Asia.  We forget how terrifying the inquisition was, or what the common person went through during the dark ages.  We forget how dehumanizing and violent hand to hand combat was compared to today's impersonal killing from a distance.

When things are going terribly wrong for us, when we can't find solace in our prayers we forget when our prayers were answered.  We forget what we are asking for, we forget to look deep inside ourselves to find some sort of answer.  We only want the response that we seek, we do not seek the response that is given.  To often we miss the answer because we are too stuck, too busy, too self centered to see what is right in front of us. 

How often do we get bogged down in the troubles of today, only to forget the glory of yesterday or the promise of tomorrow?  I try hard to focus on my blessings, but too often I forget about them because I am focused on what I want. 

Too often we see the trials others go through and pray that God would heal, provide, or "fix".  All we see is that God is not answering our prayer and the person continues to suffer.  We don't understand what is going on behind the scenes, the global or spiritual implications - but God does. 

Today was difficult, but is that God's fault or mine?  As hard as it is for me to admit it, I have to say mine.  I made choices that resulted in consequences I didn't foresee or want.  I didn't ask the questions that would have provided me the necessary answers to make better decisions.  Should God fix it? Should I expect that he'll step in and take away the consequences, just because I asked him too?  Can God change my DNA so that life will be easier, different, better?  I thought about how unappreciated I felt today and how my kids and my husband hurt me.  Is it so different for God when we don't appreciate what he has done for us, how he made us, or how he answers us?  Maybe some prayers are best left unanswered. 

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