Introduction to prayer


What prayer is

Most of you will know the story of Aladdin and his wonderful lamp.  Whenever he wanted anything, all he had to do was to rub his lamp and a genie appeared who did whatever Aladdin asked him to.

Many people when they pray are like Aladdin.  They think that prayer is a kind of magic and that, if they use more or less the right words, God ought to do everything they want.  When he seems to take no notice, they complain that he has let them down and they say that they will have no more to do with him.

What these people do not understand is that prayer is something much more than asking for this or that.  Prayer is talking with God in order to get to know him, to love him and to do his will.  You would be very unusual boys and girls if you never spoke to your parents except to ask for something; and it is wrong to treat God, who is our good Heavenly Father, as a stranger or only talk to him in order to get something out of him.

Have you ever thought that, of all living creatures on this earth, we human beings are the only ones who can speak to our Maker?  The animals and birds do not even know that there is a God, and so they live their lives without ever being able to have anything to do with him.  You will find some people who think that prayer is silly.  What is silly, as well as wrong, is not to use this knowledge and power, which we alone have, of getting to know the great God who made, not only this earth and everything in it, but the whole, vast Universe as well.

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