Something to think about with Rev. Ian McLachlan: How important is prayer?

How important is prayer to people today? I suppose the answer to that depends on whether or not religion plays an important part in someone’s life.

People who follow a religion tend to pray. There are two main type of prayers. There are public prayers which are often said in religious buildings when many people who share a faith are gathered together. These prayers can have been written down and sometimes used for generations. Or they can be prayers which are composed by the person leading the worship.

These prayers often praise God for his greatness and thank God for all his good gifts. They often ask God to do something either for themselves or for other people. Public prayers tend to highlight the concerns that human beings have at a particular time. They ask for God’s help in making things better both for themselves and also for other people. By praying people show that they are grateful for all the good things of this life, and that they want all the people they share planet earth with, to have as good and as fulfilling a life as possible.

As well as public prayers there are private prayers. These are prayers that individuals offer up to God on their own. Sometimes they are said last thing at night or anytime during the course of a day. People sometimes say to me that when things are difficult for them, is the only time they will pray.

My answer to them usually is: ‘It is also good to pray to God when things are going well for you too. God is not only there when you think you might need him. He is there all the time, interested in your life and waiting for your prayers.’