When the Romans archons (magistrates) ordered the early Christians to worship the imperial spirit or genius, they refused, kneeling instead and offering prayers on the emperor's behalf to God. This seemingly innocuous act was far more exasperating and revolutionary than outright rebellion would have been. Rebellion simply acknowledges the absoluteness and ultimacy of the emperor's power, and attempts to seize it. Prayer denies that ultimacy altogether by acknowledging a higher power...prayer challenged the very spirituality of the empire itself and called the empire's "angel," as it where, before the judgment seat of God.I can't say it much better than these quotes. Prayer is, simply, pledging allegiance. Consequently, prayer is political and a form of resistance and protest.--Walter Wink
Prayer is not "talking" with God, to God, or about God. It is not asking God for anything whatsoever. It is not bargaining with God. It has no similarity to conjuring, fantasizing, sentimental indulgence or superstitious practice...More specifically, prayer is not personal in the sense of a private transaction occurring in the void, disconnected with everyone and everything else, but is is so personal that it reveals (I have chosen this verb conscientiously) every connection with everyone and everything else in the creation throughout time. A person in the estate of prayer is identified in relation to alpha and omega--in relationship to the inception of everything and to the fulfillment of everything...Prayer, in quintessence, therefore, is a political action--an audacious one, at that--bridging the gap between immediate realities and ultimate hope, between ethics and eschatology, between the world as it is and the Kingdom that is vouchsafed.
...the practice of prayer is essentially political--a matter of attention to events and of intercession and advocacy for the needs of human life and of the life of the whole creation. Prayer, in this sense, is not pietistic but, on the contrary, radical involvement in the world...--William Stringfellow
Consequently, whether people serve themselves or serve others is not in their power to choose. This is decided wholly in terms of the kind of world in which they think they live, in terms of the kind of power that they see ruling the roost. The issue lies at the level of the god they worship and not in the kind of person that they may want to be. In New Testament terms, they live or die according to the king that holds them and the kingdom to which they belong.--Arthur McGill
You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.--Bob Dylan
Prayer specifies your God, your kingdom, your hope, your ethic.
When you pray you choose sides.