Our contemporary culture seems to struggle a lot with what prayer is and what prayer does. Many have transactional views of God, thinking that their prayers have not been answered because they have not given God what he wants (magic wording or "really believing"). In the same vein, some Christian leaders even say that God wants true believers to be rich, and if one is praying correctly, material blessings will abound. Still others may think that God's plan is set in stone, or that a prayerful view is excessively supernatural (or superstitious) making prayer either ineffective or irrelevant. But Jesus' teaching on prayer stands apart from and against these mistaken views and helps us to understand both what we ought to pray for . . . and how to pray well.