I asked myself this question last night during our church's Wednesday prayer meeting. I asked because prayer is now a very big deal to me at this point in my life, but when I was a kid, sitting through these long prayer meetings were pure torture. Sorry mom, but I dreaded the long prayer meetings. I'd bring a full bag of entertainment and draw or read.
As a child I'm sure I had needs, but mom and dad took care of the prayers so I only participated as required. As a teenager, I got so distracted with high school and pressures within that it simply didn't occur to me to pray for my problems there. Was God going to stop the bullies from pestering me? It just didn't register. In college, I was fearless, although I probably could have been a little more cautious. I think at that time it was my mom's continued prayers that probably kept me safe.
As an adult, with real problems, I find I can't pray enough. Every day I hear something about a friend or family member that makes me want to intercede on their behalf. You see, it's no longer about myself - I have three kids, 4th on the way and deeper relationships with people. There are major things happening in the world affecting our futures. There are major illnesses affecting friends and family. And the one thing I can do is pray on behalf of everything that bothers me. When I wake up at night, the first friend I think of get's prayed over for something. At this point I even have atheists friends calling and asking for prayer because they know I'm good for it. I have a simple faith but with my simple faith I've seen prayer work and that gives me the confidence to keep going. I actually enjoy these prayer meetings now and I even speak out with thanksgiving when prayers are answered. I guess I've finally matured as a Christian.