Does prayer in church get heard easier than prayer, for example, in my car on the way to school?

I’m tempted to ask whether you mean for God or for us?

God hears all prayers and the intention of simply praying is enough for those prayers to be brought to God. The use of the word “heard” however, describes God as a type of divine “Santa Claus”.

Prayer is simply communication with God. However, prayer doesn’t change God…prayer is meant to change US. Our communication with God isn’t some kind of divine wish list, instead it is an opportunity to grow closer with God, to understand where God might be working in our lives and what God might be asking of us.

Prayer is also a reminder for us. That reminder is that we are not in control and so, we stand before God in awe of what we are not. That brings us to a sense of humbleness and freedom as well. We need not worry because we know that God always gives us what we need, but not what we always want. Any good parent knows that you don’t spoil a child by giving them everything for which they ask.

So we should be praying ceaselessly, throughout the day wherever we find ourselves seeking and feeling God’s presence.

So why do we even go to church if we can pray anywhere? Because we often miss the presence of God in our lives! We forget to pray and we need a reminder to pray and to look for God’s presence in our lives. And we probably need that reminder about once a week or so. If we go a week without communicating with God, then perhaps we need an intentional reminder to keep us on task.

Mike Hayes

Mike co-founded in 2001. Currently, Mike is the director of campus ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A frequent speaker on ministering to young adults, Mike is the author of “Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in Their 20s and 30s” and “Loving Work: A Spiritual Guide to Finding the Work We Love and Bringing Love to the Work We Do.”