Why pray for something to happen if God already has a better plan? After all, he knows better than I. Yet God still says, pray for what you want to happen and pray with confidence, lest we become as weak as a wave blown by the wind.
Once there was a father with three children. The oldest, Dan saw his two younger brothers fighting all too often. At first he waited for his dad to do something about it. (see prayer as a copout) His father DID know a good way to solve the problem but he was such a good father that he also saw an opportunity for Dan to grow and learn something through this situation. So he waited.
Finally, Dan pleaded to his father, “Dad, please do something about all this arguing!”
Because his father knew that Dan would be a father himself someday he asked, “What would you have me do, Dan?” And Dan thought and thought and asked his dad to make each of this brothers do something nice for each other and see how it made them feel.
This may not have been the same decision the father would have made but the father knew that it was a good decision and would have a good outcome too. And Dan would learn better and better in time. But Dan’s father was very proud when he saw that his son was growing up to be a wise, noble man, after his own image.
Maybe this is why God asks us to pray for things- because he is teaching us to think like Him. “What would you do if you were a wise, caring, spirit like me. Good, now let's get to making you into one.”