I ran into a friend yesterday. He asked me how things were going, so I gave him an honest answer. He knew that I had been struggling with vocational issues and that I had been pretty frustrated. Alot of times people don't think enough about where someone else may be... they're too wrapped up in their own frustrations. But not my friend. I confess that I can often fall into the "out of sight / out of mind" trap. I don't know if my friend is more dedicated in his consideration of others than I can often be, but yesterday he thought enough to ask... so I gave him an honest answer:
"Pretty good!" I said, "Although nothing much has changed... just my attitude."
Prayer changes things. Especially me. The fundamental, most exciting thing about prayer SHOULD be the privilege we have to come into the Presence of God. The second is how it changes us. We can "serve" God in action. We can study Scripture intellectually. We can "minister" to others in our natural giftings. But we can't fake prayer.
All activities done apart from prayer puff up the ego... and are as dry as the desert. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." (Luke 18:1)