First off - this isn't a thread about WHEN prayer works, and when it doesn't. I am not creating this thread to talk about how Prayer is
insufficient, or sufficient. It is simply to eliminate some misconceptions people have regarding what Prayer is, how it works, and hopefully answer a
few of the common questions people tend to have when regarding prayer - example, why do some prayers go unanswered, and why some do get answered. I
will, of course, be referring to Prayer directed to the God of Jacob, and of Isaac. The God of the Bible - the infallible word of God (debate me on
that) - and the God of this universe. The Creator, and we are His Creation.
Prayer - What is it?
gives this definition -
1. a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2. a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
In layman's terms, Prayer is simply communicating
with God. It does not need to be spoken aloud in Church, you don't need to use big words,
or anything else. In fact, God says this isn't a good thing in Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus advises not to pray like the hypocrites
, referring to the
Pharisees, who pray in public with big words, instead pray in secret, because it is between you and God, and no one else.
And so, it is simply communicating with God. You don't need to be on your hands and knees, though if you do, let it not be because you are showing
off, but because it is true conviction that threw you down to your knees.
It can be for a second, "Thank you God", or it can be for hours. It is still prayer.
Prayer - Why bother?
Prayer is powerful. Never underestimate that. But what is the point? Many people will say, "Prayers go unanswered everyday, and if they are answered,
it is out of luck, or because something would have happened anyways." Well, you've all heard those arguments before, but here I am to give you the
Prayer is not something you do because you want
something. If someone prays for a new car, will they get it? If someone prays for money, will
they suddenly win the lottery?
What does God say about that? Let's take a look in James 4:3 - When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may
spend what you get on your own pleasures.
Again, in James 5:16b - The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
So, let's be reasonable here. If someone, who rarely spends time with God, decides to one day ask God to win the lottery - will they? Well, let's
look at it this way. Say one of my friends is a drug addict, and they constantly need their fix, and they came for me needing money. If I loved them,
I would give them anything they desired - but if I knew their hearts, like God does, I would know what they were going to do with that money, and
would deny them. Simply because
I love them. God knows all of our hearts, and He knows our motive. Asking Him for something like that, knowing
what you are going to do with it, is foolishness.
Now what about those who pray for healing? those who pray to be delivered of their hardships? those who pray for safety and well-being? That's really
why you're here, isn't it? Well, I'll explain it as best as I can..
Jesus has said, that if you had the faith of a mustard seed, you could say to a Mountain to lift itself up and it will obey - skeptics believe this is
a catch, that obviously no one has that kind of faith, and so none of our prayers could be answered. [iWrong.
I like to think Faith is more, situational, rather than universal. You see, I have faith in God. That has more implications than you could possibly
comprehend - I have faith because I have seen His works, that is a testimony I have provided before, but will share with you all soon. But let's put
it this way..
Prayer - How does it work?
Prayer requires faith. Obviously, you wouldn't even bother praying if you didn't have faith
that someone was listening. But Jesus did say you
could do all things in his name, you could have anything if you asked it in his name, but what did he mean?
Let's put it this way - If I prayed to God to allow me to walk on water, and asked it in Jesus' name, and I actually did walk on water?
would SURPRISE the hell out of me! I would truly scared. THAT is the reason it wouldn't work - because if I was surprised? I WOULD HAVE DOUBTED. If I
asked that prayer, in full confidence that it will be done - IT WILL BE DONE.
That is how Prayer works. It requires faith. Ask anything of God in Jesus' name, and it will be done - ask him with the right motives, ask him with
ABSOLUTE confidence that it will be done, and IT WILL. However, if you pray to him, and have your doubts? Why would you even bother asking?
People all too often say, "Show me, and then I'll believe."
God says, "Believe, and I'll show you."
Now, that isn't to say God is unfair if you ask Him something and not believe, and that He won't give it to you. He's done it before, He does it
all the time. God simply won't put you through anything you can't handle in your own abilities. Even if it isn't affecting you personally, you will
always have the power to do something about it. But He does give, even when you don't ask or have enough faith - He worked a miracle through my
Mother's life, and all of my family witnessed it. That is the testimony I will give to you all later. For now, I need to sleep.
I hope that I cleared up some confusion on just how Prayer works. Unfortunately I won't be able to respond to many questions or comments until
tomorrow, as I am buzzed up on some NyQuil (yes, I retain my spelling and grammatical abilities even when dosing off), and will likely fall asleep in
a few seconds.
Good night everyone, and God bless.