Dignity of Causality
Prayer doesn't come easily to me. Oftentimes, the problem is that I don't think it makes a difference.
Does God actually change his plans based on my prayers? Why would my measly request be effective?
The truth is, prayer isn't effective because my prayers are great, or my life especially righteous. God answers prayer because he wants to. He doesn't have to, he's not surprised. He has simply chosen to allow his creatures the ability to affect the future.
Pascal wrote, "God instituted prayer in order to lend his creatures the dignity of causality."
God has instilled his creation with dignity. We have worth, and with that comes the power to affect the future. Our actions matter, our prayers matter. Not because we're especially great (or God inept), but because we are valued.