Pray to whom? For what?

FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, people have wondered about how God answers prayer. If we want to find out how God answers prayer, then surely we have to know something about what or who God is, and how we're known to Him.

If God were a Santa Claus-type character, He would answer prayer with gifts—money, clothes, toys. If He were a magic genie, then we might expect those same kinds of gifts, but also fame, health, perfect friends, happiness. On the other hand, if God were an angry man with a long beard sitting on a throne in the clouds, we might expect to be punished or rewarded as the result of how we prayed. Scary! Or if God were a Zeus-type character who lived far away, up on the top of some unclimbable mountain, we might pray without expecting our prayers even to be heard.

Yet, people all over the world feel that their prayers are answered. So, who is this God that answers prayers? Some people will tell you that their prayers are regularly answered and that they know God to be the Supreme Being, omnipotent intelligence.

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----100 years ago
November 4, 2002

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