Does Prayer Really Work?

Does Prayer Really Work

What is prayer? Is it a stale tradition? A ritual? A good luck charm? Is it part of a religious checklist to appease some higher being so we can get what we want? Prayer has been re-defined, twisted, and confused, but at its essence, prayer is simply talking to God. The God who spoke the universe into creation, gave us life and breath, and who holds every single strand of DNA in its perfect place. This God wants us to talk to Him. In the vastness in all that exists he actually cares about us personally and individually.

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When you do get that alone time to pray to God have you ever felt frustrated with Him for not answering a prayer? Or maybe you were upset because he answered a prayer, but he did so in a way you may not have agreed with. Well there could be many different reasons for that, but let’s look at a couple;

Turning to the wrong source

I heard a gentleman once say that, “Americans tend to be content with hearing from Moses. Don’t they know they can go up on the mountain themselves and come into the presence of God?” This man was referencing Exodus 19 where Moses goes up on Mount Sinai to spend time in the presences of God and then comes down to speak to the Israelite people what God had told him.

This guy nailed it on the head. We tend to be content with hearing from God through a pastor, mentor, radio DJ, men’s/women’s group, or a television show but we don’t go straight to the source, God himself. Just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with learning about God from those people/avenues. In fact, Jesus encourages us to learn about him corporately (Matthew 18:20). However, that should not be our primary source of learning/communicating with God. This is why there is a New Testament! God did away with the religious sacrifices of the Old Testament through his Son, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus we have full access to the one true God, all we have to do is climb to the top of the mountain!

Believe and not doubt

If you pray for something but deep down you may not think it will be answered, the Lord will do just that. Take a look at James 1:6-7;

James 1:6-7But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (NIV)

Respecting your spouse

Did you know that how you treat your spouse affects your prayers? Well it’s true and is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:7;

1 Peter 3:7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (NIV)

Unrepentant sin

It’s because of sin that God sent Jesus Christ die on our behalf. We don’t deserve that but thankfully we have the covering of the blood of Jesus for all our sins and transgressions. However, we still need to confess our sin to God. If we don’t, it will stand in-between us and a relationship with God, which ultimately blocks our prayers to God;

2 Chronicles 7:1414 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

The trump card

Of course, the trump card in all of this is that God’s ways are higher than all our ways. Sometimes our prayers are never answered and only God knows why;

Isaiah 55:9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV)

What’s one thing you can do to improve your communication line with God? How have you seen prayer work in your life? If so, how? We’d love to hear from you either via email or in the comment section below.

Written by Garrett Thompson

Joshua 1:9 - I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go. (CEV)

  • Turning to the wrong source would be mine. Truthfully, it’s not even always a pastor or book or anything like that, sometimes it’s myself. I pray too much and don’t listen to God enough.

    • Garrett Thompson

      I still remember a post by you a year or two ago about working on sitting in complete stillness and idle mindness, listening for God. Even if it’s just for a second it is better then nothing. I still refer back to that post for myself!

  • Escape The Box

    Thanks Garrett. An interesting post. I think we need to take more time out from our insane lives and just walk with God, quietly listening and conversing with him. https://escapethebox.blog/2017/07/25/the-way-of-enoch/

    • Garrett Thompson

      The enemy loves to overwhelm us to the point that we don’t focus on God. I fall victim to this more than anything else! Thanks for sharing.