Jump to content
Vera Bradley

Prayer's Effectiveness

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone.

I have had a very difficult time praying. I have not prayed in years because I cannot see how prayer solves problems, especially when they are life-threatening. I can see how taking action solves problems. I think about people in situations where they are on the verge of homelessness, or having a major illness, and I think, if they pray about it, how will that change their situation? Wouldn't reaching out to housing agencies or applying certain remedies or medicine be more effective?

I want to know how and why prayer is effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing people often misunderstand prayer. The intent of prayer is not to change the situation all the time. But it changes the person every time. When we pray, God changes our heart in accordance with His will. For example, when we pray for homeless, God might change our heart to reach out and help them. Or God might change someone else's hear and send them along the way to help. God is not going to drop a bag of money to the homeless person directly (not that God is not able). God's intent is not to produce magic prayers. It is our intent that God would throw magic through prayers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course reaching out to medicines and human authorities can help people!  I take medications for a couple of things and without them I would be dead.  I'm grateful for meds.  One of them is a blood-thinner.  When I had cancer and had the surgery, later - I "threw" TWO blood clots that hit my lungs like shrapnel [the words of the doctor].  The blood-thinners have kept that from happening again and have reduced the clots.  I am grateful to GOD for those meds and I thank him for them in my prayers!!

You see, prayers are more than just about asking God to do things for us like he is a heavenly butler or something.  There's adoration to him, praise to him, thanksgiving to him, listening to him, singing to him, and more....not just tossing him our demands.

Christians don't believe that prayer and human helps are mutually exclusive actions to take.  Why are you suggesting that they are?  Where does that idea come from?

When my father developed a heart condition that made him in need of a pace-maker, you had better believe that we got that man to the doctor, the surgeon, and the medical community.

AND we prayed like mad.  I, specifically prayed for the doctors' wisdom and compassion, and for the pace-maker to alleviate ALL of the bad symptoms.

Prayer is an integral part of being saved. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies.

I want to believe that prayer is effective. What I'm dealing with is doubt about God's existence. When I go to pray, I wonder if I am making God up in my own imagination, and if prayer is just happening in my mind. I compare it to a child writing a letter to Santa Claus. If a child writes a letter to Santa, that child more than likely truly believes that Santa exists. However, if an adult writes a letter to Santa, what is going on?

I want to believe that God exists outside of my own imagination. I have difficulty getting to that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Nora D said:

Thanks for your replies.

I want to believe that prayer is effective. What I'm dealing with is doubt about God's existence. When I go to pray, I wonder if I am making God up in my own imagination, and if prayer is just happening in my mind. I compare it to a child writing a letter to Santa Claus. If a child writes a letter to Santa, that child more than likely truly believes that Santa exists. However, if an adult writes a letter to Santa, what is going on?

I want to believe that God exists outside of my own imagination. I have difficulty getting to that point.

Ah....the crux of the matter.

Nora D, thanks for clarifying your point.  My answer may or may not satisfy your doubts.

I am not going to be able to prove to you that God exists.  Not in the way that our human minds require proof anyway.

Let me just tell what I believe and why ......

I was a science teacher for many, many years in the public school system.  I LOVED it.  I love science - physical, earth, biological - I love it all.  AND because I was already saved and believed in God, science - genuine and true science, not metaphysical opinions such as macro-evolution or a static universe or spontaneous generation - but factual teaching the intricacies of the universe both at the level of quasars and quarks - kept my belief in God a firm one.

My belief in Intelligent Design was confirmed with every science lesson I taught.  And Bible says that we are without excuse - Paul says that even creation itself speaks of God.

When people express a belief in a "higher power" by viewing the wonders of nature - that is a faith-like attitude - but it isn't a saving faith.

Saving faith comes from believe what God reveals about himself to us through God's word, and through God's Son, Jesus.

You see, we CAN'T prove God's existence.  Not even with our wonderful scientific method. 

That's not how it works.  We don't become saved because we were walking along and "tripped over" God like Madame Curie and her husband accidentally discovered a treatment for cancer or were sitting under a tree and had an apple and the theory of gravity fall on our heads like Sir Isaac Newton.  We don't prove God.

God reveals himself TO us.

My prayer for you is that you begin to read your Bible and to pray to God that he WILL fully reveal himself to you.

That's the best I can tell you and I am going to be praying for you very earnestly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Nora D said:

Hi everyone.

I have had a very difficult time praying. I have not prayed in years because

Prayer begins in relationship with Jesus. Simple prayer and Jesus responding to us  (Holy Spirit in us) begins with surrendering to Him and listening.

 

We demand and reject when not heard. Never once listening because not receiving our demand which we believe we deserve.

 

Then what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 11:53 AM, Nora D said:

Hi everyone.

I have had a very difficult time praying. I have not prayed in years because I cannot see how prayer solves problems, especially when they are life-threatening. I can see how taking action solves problems. I think about people in situations where they are on the verge of homelessness, or having a major illness, and I think, if they pray about it, how will that change their situation? Wouldn't reaching out to housing agencies or applying certain remedies or medicine be more effective?

I want to know how and why prayer is effective.

It's important for you to know a couple things. 1) We aren't supposed to just pray about things and leave all the work to God. We are supposed to pick up our cross and carry it, which means that we need to do what we are capable of doing before we expect God to do what we are incapable of doing. 2) We don't just pray to have things done for us - God's not a genie. He's God. We pray, sometimes to ask for certain things or to intercede for others, but we also pray, not to change God's plan, but to change ourselves. Prayer is a conversation with God that can transform our own hearts.

There have been many answered prayers in the past, some prayers are being answered now, and there will be many more to come, assuming the world doesn't end first. But, the only way our prayers will yield any fruit is if we ask in faith. James 1:6 "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." Mark 5:34 "And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."" Luke 17:6 "And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you.""

Faith is pretty important. Prayers that are prayed without faith will not be answered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/5/2017 at 2:53 PM, Nora D said:

I want to know how and why prayer is effective.

 

On 1/7/2017 at 4:11 PM, Brittany said:

It's important for you to know a couple things. 1) We aren't supposed to just pray about things and leave all the work to God. We are supposed to pick up our cross and carry it, which means that we need to do what we are capable of doing before we expect God to do what we are incapable of doing. 2) We don't just pray to have things done for us - God's not a genie. He's God. We pray, sometimes to ask for certain things or to intercede for others, but we also pray, not to change God's plan, but to change ourselves. Prayer is a conversation with God that can transform our own hearts.

There have been many answered prayers in the past, some prayers are being answered now, and there will be many more to come, assuming the world doesn't end first. But, the only way our prayers will yield any fruit is if we ask in faith. James 1:6 "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." Mark 5:34 "And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."" Luke 17:6 "And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you.""

Faith is pretty important. Prayers that are prayed without faith will not be answered.

Great answer, sister Brittany. And I want to add that before we do anything, we should pray to the Lord to know what His will is. Only after that should we put into practice. The mistake we make is to want to do what is good for us and then to think that Jesus is bound to agree with what we are doing.

Moreover, whenever we solve a problem without waiting on Jesus and His word, even though we may be free from the unpleasant situation, you can be sure that this will cause us much more serious problems ahead:

 

·        “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19).

·        “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22).

·        Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” (Psalms 42.7).

 

May Jesus help us to hear his voice and humbly accept what He has already given us (1 Corinthians 2: 9-12), instead of trying to force the gates of hell in an attempt to find what we have been asking for:

 

·        “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” (Nahum 1.3).

·        “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10.13).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/5/2017 at 0:04 PM, Nora D said:

Thanks for your replies.

I want to believe that prayer is effective. What I'm dealing with is doubt about God's existence. When I go to pray, I wonder if I am making God up in my own imagination, and if prayer is just happening in my mind. I compare it to a child writing a letter to Santa Claus. If a child writes a letter to Santa, that child more than likely truly believes that Santa exists. However, if an adult writes a letter to Santa, what is going on?

I want to believe that God exists outside of my own imagination. I have difficulty getting to that point.

It should be noted that prayer is not just a list of demands. That's not real prayer. God isn't some genie that we summon and make demands of.

Real prayer is praise and thanksgiving, giving glory to Him because He is worthy of it. Real prayer asks for God's will to be done, even if we don't understand what it is or can't recognize it.

And I'll say this; logically, if there is a God, it would make sense that all our prayers aren't answered. If all our prayers were answered by God, that would mean our opinions, our will, and our view lined up with God's. And that's not possible, because we are flawed, imperfect beings. We cannot see past and future. We cannot know the thoughts and hearts of all people. If the God of the Bible, omnipotent and omniscient, is real, then you should expect the prayers of flawed, blind, imperfect humans to go unanswered at times. Imagine children; they want every toy bought for them, cookies and ice cream for every meal, all their wishes and whims met. They want these things because they see them as good, and they want good all the time. They don't understand what their parents know and see, though. The parent's refusal to grant their wishes is not a sign of a lack of love or ability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for myself, I find I need not be strong for God's faith to be all powerful over me. I need not have faith at all. For God's faith does not fail. God is not dependent upon me, not a wit. 

I rely upon God's faith, not my own for I am weak, I fail, and He is strong. He does not fail.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×