“Whatever fate befalls you, do not give way to great rejoicings or great lamentation; partly because all things are full of change, and your fortune may turn at any moment; party because men are so apt to be deceived in their judgment as to what is good or bad for them.” --Schopenhauer.
I read this quote on a blog I read regularly called The Happiness Project, and I started thinking (dangerous, I know). But I think this quote is very true. We don't know what is good for us or even what is bad, really. Now we know what feels good or bad at the moment, but that's about it.
I think and have said, I feel the same way about praying. How can we possibly know what to ask for, short of asking for someone's eyes to be opened and the gospel revealed? (And even then, only if it's God's will). When we pray for someone to be healed of sickness, how do we know it is not in their best interest to remain sick? Maybe the Lord will use their sickness to bring them to himself. Maybe someone's death will deliver them to heaven and persuade someone else to seek the Lord. --Maybe not.
I do believe that God is in control of every little thing that happens, so really what need is there to pray requesting anything, except that his will be done in each situation, as it says in the Lord's prayer. 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'
I guess I think prayer is mainly for praising the Lord, thanking him, and agreeing with him that we are dreadful sinners in need of his mercy. Also lifting up others and praying for God's will in their lives. --But we know his will, WILL be done regardless. He's sovereign and in control of all that happens. Still, he tells us to pray.
To be honest, many times when I pray, I feel so hypocritical because my prayers aren't said in earnest. My prayers are shallow, dead and lifeless, repeating the same old lines day after day. Often my thoughts are wandering and I know I am just doing 'my duty' as a christian. What a waste of time. I hate this.
Other times when I am just thinking of the Lord and his great mercy, reading a scripture, or listening to a sermon about the Lord Jesus, I feel such joy and gratefulness in my heart to the Lord. For just a short period of time, I get a glimpse of Christ. And what a wonderful blessing from the Lord.
I wonder, could this be a form of prayer?