Why pray when God decides everything?
I strongly, purely prayed for the recovery of a person close to me, but it did not help. It turns out that nothing depends on our prayer?
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) answers the reader's question:
I would like to clarify a few points.
First, we pray not only because we want to beg God for something. We pray, first of all, because we want to communicate with God. If you have a husband and children, you communicate with them not only to get something. You communicate because you are one family, because you are interested with them, because communication itself brings joy.
It's the same with prayer. This is the fellowship of a Christian with God, and prayer itself brings joy, regardless of what we can receive from God in answer to this prayer.
Second: God hears all our prayers, but God does not always answer the way we want. Children often ask their parents for something that the parents cannot or do not want to give them. Children are offended, naughty, but parents insist on their own. God's love for us is parental love. The Lord cares about us, and He knows better than we what we need.
Third: if we want to receive something from God, we should not be ashamed to ask for it. The Lord Jesus Christ has a wonderful parable about the annoying widow. She went to the judge and asked to resolve some case, but the judge was not interested in this widow, because she had nothing to pay. He refused her for a long time. But since she was constantly walking, constantly knocking on his door, he said: since she is so persistent, I will still fulfill her request.
Why did the Lord speak this parable? He certainly does not compare God to an unrighteous judge. But He says: even if an unrighteous judge responds to a request that has been expressed many times, how then will the Lord not hear His children who diligently pray to Him?