Prayer Doesn’t Work

In this fast-paced life we live it’s important every now and then that we stop and take some time to reflect on what’s been going on. If we are Christians that time of reflection is often spent in prayer. Prayer is how we communicate with God. It is in prayer that we can pour out all our anxieties, fears, and doubts. Prayer brings us comfort in our pain and gives us hope when we feel like there is no way out. Prayer is a beautiful thing.

Recently I got to thinking about prayer though. I thought about why I pray, how I pray and most recently, I’ve thought about if prayer even works. I’ve come to the conclusion that prayer does not always work. In fact, prayer does not work when…

It is said without faith. It has been said that a great example of a faithless prayer is a church that prays for rain, but leaves their umbrellas and raincoats at home. When you pray, do you believe that what you’re praying for is going to happen or do you secretly harbor doubt in your mind when you talk to God? In Matthew 21:22 Jesus tells his disciples that they need to have faith in their prayers! Don’t pray with a doubt in your mind, pray as if you have already received what you’ve asked for. If we pray, but have no faith then prayer will not work.

It is not in accordance with God’s will. When Jesus was in the garden praying, he asked the Lord if there was any way that “this cup could pass” from him (Matthew 26:39). Jesus didn’t end his prayers there though. In fact, he always ended with the phrase “not my will but yours be done” (Matthew 26:39). While Jesus wanted a different outcome, he knew that God’s will is what would ultimately get done. The same is true for us. We may pray for something we want over and over again, but if it is not God’s will for us to have it then that prayer won’t work.

It is mindless repetition. In Matthew 6:7 Jesus tells the crowd that’s gathered around not to “heap up empty phrases” like the Gentiles do. Jesus tells us that the Gentiles think they will be heard because of their many words, but they are mistaken in this belief. Prayer is about acknowledging God, giving thanks to Him, and asking for help when things get tough (see Matthew 6:9-13). Prayer is not about repetition and if we turn prayer into a string of repetitious phrases then prayer simply won’t work.

The next time you pray, ask yourself these questions: Am I praying with doubt? Am I asking for things that I know are not God’s will? Have my prayers become mindless repetition? If we have let our prayers become this way then they will not work.

I encourage you to consider your prayers. There is a great power in prayer if it is done correctly. Starting today, let’s be a people who believe in what we’re praying. Let’s seek to pray about things according to God’s will and let’s make prayers meaningful, not repetitious. If we do these things then prayer will work in our lives. – Jack D.

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3 Responses to Prayer Doesn’t Work

  1. Pingback: Prayer Doesn’t Work « The New Self

  2. The New Self says:

    Reblogged this on The New Self and commented:
    Check out this great article by my friend Jack.

  3. Pingback: A Little Reminder About Prayer « Spare Some Time

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