Why Prayer Doesn't Work
“Prayer works!” is one of my least favorite phrases in all of Christendom.
I love prayer. I love the intimacy prayer provides me and my heavenly Father.
I do believe prayer is profitable. I do believe prayer is effective. I do NOT believe “prayer works.” Shocked?
When we use the phrase, “Prayer works!” only when God answers our prayers as we hope, we misrepresent prayer’s purpose. For those who get a No to their prayer requests for their child’s healing of a terminal illness, does this mean that prayer does not work for them? Certainly not. This is the danger of this phrase – it gives the impression that prayer works for some, but not for all, and that is just not true.
Prayer works in a myriad of ways, but it does not work to carry out our wish list. Prayer is so much more than many of us realize. It’s more than giving thanks at mealtimes; it’s giving God thanksgiving and praise throughout the day for the big and small things.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2
Prayer is about acknowledging our failings so He can help us overcome sin and self. Prayer is about learning to become content with God’s sovereignty in every matter, even when a No comes. Prayer helps us to be watchful. It helps us to become more patient while we wait for Him to answer.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Prayer is where God grows our passions and heart for ministry. This is where God nudges us to encourage others and share the gospel with the lost. It is a time for God to touch our busy minds. It is during prayer that we gain spiritual insight on what God is doing behind the scenes. Prayer casts out confusion and cultivates clarity.
With prayer, the possibilities are endless! When we use the phrase, “Prayer works!” let it be to describe how time with God in prayer has changed us!
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11