Kris: Only if you think prayer is for God’s benefit. Which it’s not. It’s for our benefit. You know, like how he said that man wasn’t made for the Sabbath but that the Sabbath was made for man? It’s the same with prayer. Prayer, just like the Day of Rest, is for our benefit, not God’s.
Me: But how does it benefit us to pray?
Kris: Well, articulating it, putting it into words, helps us know what we think.
(He then gave me a made up example that didn’t help me—as made up examples never do—about how every time I take off cross-country in my semi-trailer it always makes him so mad and how saying that he’s mad helps him realize that’s what’s going on. There ensued a little argument in which I said he wouldn’t ever pray his anger to God—he can barely admit it to me—and he said that the psalmists and Job often prayed their anger, so it must be okay, and I said, it’s not about whether it’s okay or not but that I knew he’d never do it, that the only prayers I’ve ever heard him say were for things he needed—or wanted, in any case, and the argument ended, as our arguments generally do, with his saying, “You’re probably right.”)
Me: So, then, how does it benefit you to pray for what you need?
Kris: Because it’s good for thought. Good to say it and think about it, rather than just live from moment to moment without ever thinking about all the things you need that God takes care of.