Sometimes when I pray I feel like I’m just talking to myself and calling it “prayer” to avoid therapy. But the truth is, our prayers are never wasted. Our worries and concerns and hardships are never ignored. Perhaps the most singular feature of Christian spirituality is the assurance that God listens. Our prayers are not sent to his voice mail, or absently attended while he watches sports. God is not our distracted grandpa. He is presiding over the earth, from heaven, and his ears are attuned to our suffering.
John tells us there are angels catching our prayers in golden bowls. Our prayers are placed upon the altar of the stars and mingled with fire. Our prayers are hurled back to earth with a vengeance, with the certainty that every courtier in the clouds has focused their attention on our circumstances and clenches in anticipation of God’s intervention on our behalf.
That’s why we pray. We don’t pray because we’re “supposed” to. We don’t pray because we’re forced. We pray because we know God hears us, and responds. We pray because we’re reminding ourselves that God is infinitely more terrible than our enemies.
And that he is on our side.