African American theologian Howard Thurman (1899-1981) suggests that true prayer has very little to do with bringing something external to pass; rather, it has to do with the relationship between God and those who pray. “The essence of prayer is that God answers the pray-er, which is far more important than answering a thousand prayers,” Thurman says.
Thurman’s insight suggests that God’s answer to prayer—whether or not a particular petition is granted—is akin to God saying, “I see you. I love you. I am with you. No matter what.”
This message is an excerpt from “Closer to God” by Audrey West in the July/August 2018 issue of Gather magazine.
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