In prayer, we come to our Father saying, “This is all I’ve got, unless you make it better.”

Prayer is the inoculation against spiritual disease. When we pray, our souls fight the infections of bitterness, victimization, fear, anxiety, and prejudice.

Prayer changes us. Prayer heals us. Prayer grows us. Prayer cures us.

Do you see why we’ve been so often disappointed with prayer? We keep thinking prayer will heal the world, but when we spend time with God, he wants to heal us first.

Is that too much nonsense? Too vague and spiritual sounding? I hope not. It’s the best I can do. It’s the closest I can come to helping you understand that your desires and passions and humors are not infections God is wary of contracting. God made you like this—as you!—because he wanted you for himself. You are his. When you pray, God gets his favorite person back.

Adapted from How To Be With God: A Primer on Christian Prayer