Prayer is more than a wish list. After all, God is more than a supernatural, omnipotent, heavenly Santa who keeps close tabs on his naughty and nice lists, and rewards people based upon their earnestness, self-sacrifice, popularity, number of requests, or length of prayer chains. He’s not counting bottle caps collected.
God knows what we need before we even ask. And he provides us with what we need. All we have to do is ask. He might not give us what we want when we want it, but he provides what we need when we need it. And, that is what we should ask for. (A topic for another day is what are we to do with the blessings that we receive – I think you know the answer).
Prayer is also more than simply praying for ourselves. If God wants us to love our neighbors, total strangers, as ourselves then we must also pray for them. And, it goes farther than that. Jesus said that we should pray for our enemies. Ouch. That’s hard. But it is perhaps how they can change. And, at a minimum, it will change our perspective on them – so that we love them as Christ instructed.
No, it’s not easy. But it will make for a happier and more fulfilling life. Try it. If someone aggravates you or frustrates you, pray for them. Lift them up to God. The blessings received may be your own.