Prayer has always frustrated me because of one thing.
I am reading a book entitled The Praying Life by Paul Miller. Today I read a chapter that talked about how prayer is personal and that it is okay to pray for "trivial" things such as a parking spot. He also said that it is okay to pray that it is not your house being burned down when you hear a firetruck siren. (Although some say that is selfish and means that you will for someone else's house to be burned down.) I'm all good with that. I pray for the minute details frequently without thinking I'm selfish. It is okay to tell God your feelings and desires (i.e. I don't want my house to burn down, Lord). After all, did Jesus himself not ask the cup to be taken from him before being sent to the cross?
Miller then talks about those who think, "it would have happened anyways." That is me. That is my struggle. Because I believe that God is sovereign and has a will and a plan and a foreknowledge of everything, does prayer really make a difference? I find myself thinking, "who am I that God would change his will after hearing my prayer?"
I have heard it said after bringing this up to a friend that the most important thing about prayer is that your are conversing with God and spending time with him. I do believe that prayer is time to be intimate with the Creator, but "that man should think he will not receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does" (James) I have to believe that God wants to answer our prayers - in fact he delights in it. But I don't understand how this and his sovereignty make sense!