What does God want of us in prayer? Does He want us to beg like dogs for favours, for things to go our way, and for promises if they do? Does He want us to bargain? Like a business transaction? If you do this for me, I’ll do that … recite the Rosary daily … light candles … give £100 to charity … and so on.
Christ taught us that God is “Our Father who are in Heaven”. He did not say “Our Master, Ruler, Dictator, Monster … who demands this and that from us”.
By “Father”, Jesus meant a loving parent who cares about His children and would do all He can for them and their well-being.
As children we asked many things of our parents, some we got, and some we did not; and indeed, yes, we did bargain with them and often got our way as a result.
But praying to God is not bargaining. We cannot influence God and change His decisions. But often, our prayers, our bargaining if that’s what it is, opens a channel, a communication, with our Heavenly Father, whereby He listens and often, in His time and in His way, He responds to our requests, our demands, or our bargaining.
It is pointless us questioning whether our prayers influenced Him or not, whether He changed His mind or not, or whether He would have responded this way regardless of our prayers.
What is important is that, as children, we asked, and as a loving parent, He responded. In His time and in His way.
Just as our loving parents responded to us; and, hopefully, we respond to our children.
The only difference is that, being God, He makes no mistakes in His responses, which are motivated by love.