I've never thought of myself as a particularly spiritual person. I tried church when I was still in middle/high school but fell out of the practice. Then I tried attending again in college a few times. And while I immensely enjoyed the experience, I couldn't drag myself out of bed on Sunday mornings after a week of late night studying (I had a tough course load and was a nerd).
But I have always prayed. But I've come to realize that I've always prayed the juvenile prayers everyone has for special "favors" from God. I pray when I want something. Why? Where in the world did I get the concept that I could ask God to deliver a puppy, an "A" on a test, or a successful surgery for my grandmother? And where did I get the notion that if God doesn't answer my prayers, it must be for some divine plan? He has his reasons?
I've been doing a lot of praying lately. But I know I can't have what I truly want. I know there will be no miracles and no happy ending. And now I'm wondering what I'm really praying for. If I pray that God takes care of my Alex in heaven, I'm asking for a favor. And if I pray that we find some answers as to why this happened, I'm expecting something. Even if I pray for just the strength to get through...to put the pieces of my life back together again...I'm asking for handouts. Surely, God is tired of hearing from me with all my "I wants and gimmes."
So what do I pray for? Why bother?
Someone suggested I pray a prayer of thanks. Instead of asking for more blessings, raise up my voice to thank God for those blessings I already have. Normally, this would sound like a great idea. But right now it just really ticks me off. So maybe I shouldn't be praying at all. Instead of adding my voice of constant want and need to the already overcrowded heavenly pipeline, I should just be silent for a while and listen. Maybe it's just not necessary to pray if you can't think of anything to say beyond, "Please give me..." The "thank yous" will probably come back some day. But for right now I just don't have them in me.