I wonder if Christians understand prayer that way. We think that praying is sending nice thoughts towards someone. Prayer is an interpersonal, telepathic sentiment of sorts.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with nice thoughts, Jesus teaches that Christian prayer is more than good thoughts. In the gospel of Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples asks Jesus to teach him to pray. Jesus tells him, “When you pray say, Father…” Jesus tells His disciples to call on God in prayer like calling on a parent. Jesus goes on to tell his disciples to ask God to rule in their lives, provide food, forgive sins, and direct them away from temptation. Later Jesus encourages this type of petitioning by saying, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened,” (Luke 11).
So, according to Jesus, prayer involves calling on God like an intimate caregiver, for just about everything in our lives. More than nice thoughts, Christian prayer involves bringing all thoughts before God. We send all thoughts God’s way, trusting that God is our provision in all things.
As you go through the coming week, take your thoughts to God in prayer. Ask for provision. Ask for healing. Ask God to be with a friend who is hurting. As you do, Jesus will redefine what it means to “send nice thoughts your way.” Jesus will also reveal that He is powerful enough to take nice thoughts and make a real difference.