Q: What is the reason for prayer?
A: From The Urantia Book:
Aside from all that is superself in the experience of praying, it should be remembered that ethical prayer is a splendid way to elevate one’s ego and reinforce the self for better living and higher attainment. Prayer induces the human ego to look both ways for help: for material aid to the subconscious reservoir of mortal experience, for inspiration and guidance to the superconscious borders of the contact of the material with the spiritual…
Prayer must never be so prostituted as to become a substitute for action. All ethical prayer is a stimulus to action and a guide to the progressive striving for idealistic goals of superself-attainment.
While the nonselfish type of prayer is strengthening and comforting, materialistic praying is destined to bring disappointment and disillusionment as advancing scientific discoveries demonstrate that man lives in a physical universe of law and order.
The real prayer of faith always contributes to the augmentation of the technique of living, even if such petitions are not worthy of spiritual recognition.
Prayer, even as a purely human practice, a dialogue with one’s alter ego, constitutes a technique of the most efficient approach to the realization of those reserve powers of human nature which are stored and conserved in the unconscious realms of the human mind. (91:6.4)
Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. Pray only for values, not things; for growth, not for gratification. (91:8.13)
Prayer is designed to make man less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase knowledge but rather to expand insight. (143:7.4)
Prayer, when indited by the spirit, leads to co-operative spiritual progress. The ideal prayer is a form of spiritual communion which leads to intelligent worship. True praying is the sincere attitude of reaching heavenward for the attainment of your ideals. (144:2.2)
The earnest and longing repetition of any petition, when such a prayer is the sincere expression of a child of God and is uttered in faith, no matter how ill-advised or impossible of direct answer, never fails to expand the soul’s capacity for spiritual receptivity.
Prayer is an antidote for harmful introspection.
Prayer is a part of the divine plan for making over that which is into that which ought to be. (144:4.2)