(Sidenote: this isn’t a post about religion. This post is about the importance of something being “bigger than ourselves”. When I get into it, you will finally figure out where I was going with everything.)
One faithful day at work, I was on “hall way duty” (making sure the kids went to class and not played around all morning). A student known more for her maddening behavior than using common sense came through the hallway. As she lumbered down the hallway (she is obese…I apologize), she seemed to have an attitude. My fellow teacher tried to talk to her about her attitude to no avail.
At some point, the conversation made it to the proposition of “making sure one pray every day” for whatever particular reason. The student noted that “I don’t pray because nothing ever happens”. She scoffed at the idea while the other teacher smiled and shook her head. My fellow teacher knew better, so she just let the comment be where it was.
At that moment, I laughed. I didn’t find it hilarious because of the lack of religious context within the young person’s life. I laughed because she doesn’t understand the main concept of prayer.
Why Prayer is Important
We all know that religion can play a big part in the remnants of a praying person. The psychotherapist Michael J. Formica noted this about prayer (within its own limitations):
As a practice, prayer is the setting of an intention; it is not a plea, but a resolution, and that resolution takes many forms. Whatever that form, the psychology that underlies prayer issues forth from two fairly distinct perspectives. On the one hand, God, or the object of prayer, may be represented as an external construct of the ego, or something “out there”. On the other, God may be represented as an interior archetype, or something “in here”. 
When people pray, they are either praying “outside of themselves” or “within themselves”. It all depends on one’s religious/spiritual reliefs because certain belief systems may require different prayer approaches . Yet, they all fall back into looking at one respective practice as having some seen power: prayer.
Even if prayer doesn’t “change things”, they can sometimes have the power to “change you” or even “change how you feel”.
How Powerful Prayer Can Truly Be
Although there are studies that show prayer as being “ineffective”, there are also studies that show prayer as being a worthwhile force of peace and healing. One study held in Mozambique noted the healing effects of prayer on the “sick and shut in” . Although the sample was small, the results were heavily consistent and powerful (making the results worthwhile). There have even been studies that show how prayer reduces anger and pushes for reappraisal . However one wants to toss it up, it all will fall down as prayer being an effective means to making some people’s lives better.
Let us take it further, though: prayer is just a pure recognition that one would acquire assistance from outside/inside forces to make life a little better (at least). It doesn’t matter if one believes in Elohim, Karma, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Pastafarian), prayer will always be seen as that effective practice of reaching out for forces that have more power and promise that we may have within ourselves. However, prayer can even help focus on the being within to help harness the power that you already possess to do the things you need to do (call it a form of meditation). Therefore, regardless of any personal beliefs, prayer can honestly “work”.
So, if you feel the need to pray then just pray. Pray outside of yourself. Pray within your own personal universe. Pray like the Pastafarians. It doesn’t matter. Prayer is done because prayer is meaningful. No matter the belief or relation, prayer can be some powerful stuff.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!