Prayer means many things to many people. In its simplest form, it is petitioning our needs - both spiritual and temporal - to an Almighty God. And yet, the prayer life of a vast majority of us is barren and devoid of daily devotion. We turn to other areas for solace rather than to the recourse we have in prayer.
For some, praying is a boring exercise, a one-way communication and a futile repetition of our needs to a God, who is perceived as not listening. For others, it is a time consuming and therefore, an unnecessary - activity in a hectic life. Still for many others, a few fallacies of prayer, including the one that 'God never answers prayers,' discourage and dissuade them from praying. Even so, when we learn to undue these fallacies, praying becomes an act of grace and morphs the few moments spent with the Creator into instances of sheer tranquillity and joy. The moot question, therefore, is how do we overcome the fallacies of prayer?
Firstly, contrary to common belief, prayer is not a one-way, dull communication. When we really engage ourselves in prayer, the voice of the Lord will reach us in mysterious ways. Like the bounty of nature that impresses and speaks through its vast silences to those who care to connect with it, prayer has the power to bring God's word to those who pray earnestly seeking His word.
Secondly, prayer is never a waste of time. Just as any human relationship thrives and grows with communication, the sacred relationship with God can be nurtured only through prayer. When we seek Him in prayer, we will find Him and when we find Him, we will have found the answers to life's unfathomable questions, the wisdom to deal with life's challenges and the grace to discover the hidden joys available to man in spirituality.
Lastly and most importantly, the notion that God never hears prayers is a myth. It is simply that many a time when our prayers are not aligned with God's will and to our long-term welfare, our prayers go unanswered. However, it is an interesting truth that in God's own time, we ultimately get more than what we had prayed for!