; CHAPTER ONE: ;A Word to the Whys ;"Does that make your food taste better?" ; ;David looked up and saw the guy at the next table staring at him. "Huh?" David asked, not sure whether the guy was talking to him or to himself. ; ;"You were just praying, weren't you?" the guy asked. ; ;"Yeah," David said slowly. ; ;"I was just wondering if praying, like, makes your hamburger taste like filet mignon or something." ; ;David took a bite of his burger, chewed it for a second, and said, "Nope, it's still a hamburger." Then he smiled at the guy and turned back toward his food, hoping that was the end of the conversation. It wasn't. ; ;"Then why do you pray?" ; ;Aw, come on, dude, David thought, just let me eat my food. He couldn't tell whether the guy was making fun of him or being serious, so finally he just said, "I was thanking God for my food." ; ;"And you probably do that before all meals, don't you?" ; ;"Yeah, I usually try to pray before I eat." David could hear the defensiveness creeping into his own voice. ; ;The guy seemed pleased by David's answer. "Tell me this," he said as he leaned forward in his chair, "do you pray every time you get in your car or every time you deposit money in the bank?" ; ;"No." David still couldn't tell where the conversation was heading. ; ;"Why do you pray for some things and not for others?" the guy asked. "Aren't you thankful for your car and your money too?" ; ;"Well, yeah, but-" ; ;"Have you ever told God anything in prayer that He didn't already know?" the guy continued. ; ;"What do you mean?" David asked. ; ;"I mean, have you ever asked Him for anything He didn't already know you wanted?" the guy pressed. "Have you ever thanked Him for something that He didn't already know you were grateful for? Have you ever surprised Him with anything you said in one of your prayers?" ; ;"Well, since God knows everything there is to know, I guess my answer is no," David admitted. ; ;"Then why pray?" the guy repeated. ; ;David looked down at his burger and fries, which were getting colder by the second. I guess this is what I get for praying, he sighed to himself. ; ; ; It's Like This ; ;What if someone interrupted one of your prayers and asked, "Why are you doing that?" Would you have an answer? (And, no, you can't count "Get out of my face" or "None of your business" as an answer.) ; ;If you were to do a survey among the people you know who pray, you'd probably get at least a few reasons like these: ; ; ;"I pray when I'm in trouble." ; "I pray when there's something I really need." ; "I pray when I don't know where else to turn." ; ; ; ;These can be legitimate reasons to pray, but they're not the only reasons to pray. And if extreme prayer is your goal, then you need to discover why God wants us to come to Him in prayer. ; ;And the psalmists are just the guys to show you. ; ;Open to any psalm in the Bible and you'll find a masterpiece of prayer. God thought so much of the psalms that He included them in His Word. You can't get higher profile than that. These prayers were so meaningful that God wanted people to be able to read and learn from them thousands of years later. ; ;These weren't quickie requests tossed off whenever the psalmists had a sSouthern, Randy is the author of 'Fuel: Igniting Your Life with Passionate Prayer' with ISBN 9780785267485 and ISBN 0785267484.