Question:

I'm a bit confused about the idea of praying to G‑d to help us in a certain situation or provide us with something. If G‑d has made a person's situation a certain way, then He wants it to be this way. He knows this is good for that person. So then, why should a person pray for the situation to change?

Answer

Yes, the whole concept of praying is confusing. We trust in G‑d that He is good and does everything for the good. We believe that He has perfect knowledge of everything and that everything is under His control. And we ask him to change things and make them good. Yes, it seems a contradiction.

So think of it like this: G‑d wants people to pray to Him. Something like a parent wants a child to pick up the phone and say,"Hi, Mom and Dad." More than that, He wants things to progress in His world through mutual consultation. He wants that we should be involved in understanding what's good for us and bringing it about — no matter how much better His own understanding and ability is than our understanding and ability.

That's what prayer is all about: Communion between you and G‑d. Think of prayer as G‑d talking to Himself — through you. In prayer, you and G‑d are one.

So ask for everything you need. But keep in mind Who it is that you are asking. And ask yourself what you are doing in return. What kind of a partner are you?