Is prayer just saying things that I believe? Or so others feel good? I need to know the importance of prayer. It is not clear to me in Scripture.
"Prayer" | Tefillah (תפילה) derives from "Evaluate" | Pallel (פלל).
- פלל - to invoke a judge. [Klein Dictionary, Carta Jerusalem; 1st edition, 1987]
By self-evaluating, we either : [#1] respectfully acknowledge the Source of our benefits [Tehillim 121/Devarim 6:4]; [#2] humbly acknowledge the need to improve our kindness and truth [Mishlei 16:6].
Prayer is a way of keeping yourself connected to God; another, accompanying way is a contemplation of divine truth, but this contemplation is also contributive to a deeper prayer for more divine things. For instance, a sportsman can pray for a victory in a tournament, but a philosopher can pray that such a transient thing as sports glory may not creep into his heart and mind as an object of desire.
Also prayers can influence others: for instance, one can pray for health of others and if God wills it, He will grant it.