PRAYER - YOU CAN'T TELL GOD WHAT TO DO
 
Prayer is about feeling good about doing nothing for another.  People pray to overcome their flaws and they feel good about NOT helping themselves.  You feel good that you are asking to be more compassionate but then when a person needs your help you feel compelled to walk away.

Is prayer asking God to do something or telling him what to do?  If you believe he has to respond even if it does not match exactly what you want then that is not necessarily asking.  You could be asking in the words but telling in your heart.  When you cannot prove that God will respond and talk to him as if he will that is not asking.  You are telling.
 
Prayer is all about leaving it up to God to act. Even when the believer is prompted by God to act, the believer says God alone must take the credit for helping. God creates the believer and his choice from nothing so it is all God. So even when you are doing something you are really doing nothing. It is not what you did that matters but what God has done. Attitude wise, there is no difference between this and doing nothing literally. There is a thin line between it and standing by with medication while the sick cry out for it.
 
Prayer is asking God or gods to do their own will - it is asking not commanding. They are going to do it anyway if they are good. It is like asking a man to breathe! Asking somebody to help a person is not helping the person. Why? Because the free will of the person asked is the cause of any help he or she gives. It's not you. People pray because it makes them feel they are helping themselves or somebody else. But that can only happen if they see it as a kind of magic in which case they should be honest and do magic instead.
 
Proper prayer doesn’t really do anything for anybody. Such prayer is asking God to help people. If people need help, a good God will help them and not wait until somebody asks him.
 
The doctrine that God prefers to make things work out for the best without changing them is interesting. It shows you might as well just accept what is coming when you cannot do anything about it. If that is what praying people are trying to do, then they don't need to pray. They just need to accept. To pray for others then is sheer magic. More about that!

“Damn it. Don’t you dare ask God to help me!” That is what the dying Joan Crawford said to her housekeeper who prayed out loud for her.
 
The bottom line is: being good is not being good unless there is a real recipient be it yourself or another person. If prayer does not work then it is not a good work. If there is no God then prayer is not a good work. Some might say, "If you cannot help but pray that is help." No it is not - it is about you using somebody's pain to make yourself feel goody goody.
 
Religion says we can know that God exists though we can’t understand him so how then are we able to understand that he needs and utilizes prayer? You pray to a being whose existence you are not strongly sure of. You pray to a being whose goodness you are not strongly sure of. You pray to a being whose goodness may not be in doubt but who may consider it good to ignore your prayer. It is arrogant to argue that God always answers prayer. If he is good and good is sometimes tough he does not have to.
 
Anyway it is all stuff you are not sure of. You are praying to please your feelings so it is really yourself that you are pleasing.