When I pray, am I really looking for my prayers to be answered or my wish granted?
Am I asking for what is best for me, or just what I want. What becomes of my faith when things don't go exactly they way I was looking for them to?
To me, there is a big difference between, "Star light star bright, please grant me the wish I wish tonight," and "Our Father, who art in Heaven..." Both are entered into with expectant hope, both only one accepts that what is or is not granted, is always for a greater good. Wish making has that element of, 'this is probably not going to come true' especially because we do not know from whom we are seeking the wish. In prayer, I certainly know to whom I am praying, and there is an understanding there is always an answer - though sometimes the answer is Yes, sometimes it is No, and sometimes it is Not Yet, but I do believe every prayer is answered..YET even knowing all of this in my head...
I still struggle in prayer. I struggle when they are not answered exactly the way I asked, or if they go seemingly completely unanswered. I wonder the purpose of prayer when I pour my heart and soul into it, and am left feeling abandoned or ignored. My first problem I am sure is my humanness, I recently realized that I have unconsciously enter into prayer with a sense of manipulation. I have had this erroneous belief that if I do my 9 prayers in a row, if I say my Rosary, if I beg God with just the right words then I will please Him, and therefore get what I want. Or even worse my false humility, as I say the words, "God whatever you want I accept", but I know I totally do NOT feel that way. I will be crushed if my prayer is not answered actually the way I want.
Here comes the great mystery, the great irony. There are MANY times (probably more times than not), when I do not get what I pray for, yet I still believe in the power of prayer. Things do not go as I wished, yet I still believe. Sometimes I am even left feeling completely in the dark as to what the plan is, feeling God's response me to wait, or to continue to wait - yet it does not stop me from continuing to pray. Prayer to me is a communication - It is not just me talking to God, but it is more importantly Him talking to me. I would never wish on a star every morning, all throughout my day, and as I am falling to asleep each night. Prayer actually changes my mind, not God's. I find peace in whatever