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What is the real purpose of prayer?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

We use prayer as an opportunity to make requests, register complaints, and express our frustration over the fact that God is not running things the way we'd like. It's not that we can't talk to him about those things. God listens no matter what the topic of conversation, but keeping it at that level is not transformative.

We need to learn to have faith in divine providence. This involves developing an attitude of appreciation for what is, even when it's not what we want. Once we trust that God knows what he's doing, our prayers become more of an intimate sharing than a shopping list. We see that the real purpose of prayer is to change our hearts, not to change God's mind. (What kind of God would actually be swayed by the forty-seventh time we asked for a raise - but not the forty-sixth?) The goal of cultivating faith is to finally give up thinking we know what's best, and let our solitary prayer be "Thy will be done."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.