img source: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/09/19/the-most-important-prayer-for-our-kids/
As Christians, we are constantly taught and reminded to pray. Prayer is supposed to be the backbone of any ministry. And so we like to list things and even place dates as to when we want to see them answered. We ask other people's prayer requests and assure them we would intercede. It is therefore important to understand what it means to pray.
God can listen to any kind of prayer - angry, impulsive, depressed, joyful, demanding and if we are His children, we can go to Him with complete confidence regardless of our words, our mood and our intention. But regardless of any negative emotion attached to it, be it against others or God himself, we ought to see ourselves letting our guards down on Him in the end. We can express disappointment on the onset but just like King David, we ought to turn our sighs into songs of praise - a redemptive kind of grieving.
We have a list of prayer concerns in mind and we recite them to Him. Sometimes this is what we ought to do but prayer first of all is talking with God, not just reporting to Him. We must therefore be sensitive to His direction. After all, we are His bride - expected to submit to His leading. We approach God with our problems and demand from Him as if we are the "omnipotent" and not He. Sometimes all that He wants is our awareness of His presence or our remembrance of His goodness. Sometimes His way of solving our problems is not to change our circumstances or other people - but to change our heart and attitude towards them.
To pray is not just to utter - it is to rest. It is not only to tell - but to be affirmed. To pray is not only the means to the answer - most of the time, it is the answer.