Praying, does it actually do anything?
Prayer can be a difficult thing, we can devote so much time to praying, seemingly without any results. Sometimes we can’t see any changes in situations, and we end up thinking, is God even there? We need to be ready to admit that, I don’t know the best way in every situation, I don’t have all the answers, but let faith take over, allowing us just to trust in God with all of our prayers. Their are a number of things that we must get right in our thinking around the topic of prayer.
- Who are we praying to?
Many people are taking time to look into different religions, people are not stuck in there traditions in the same way and therefore people feel they have the freedom to look at a variety of different religions. What we know about religion and God will determine if and who we are praying to. Can we ultimately trust God, if we don’t have a relationship with him. Will we be truly devote ourselves to prayer with a true faith in him.
“Devote yourselves in prayer…” – Colossians 4 v 2.
2. What even is prayer?
To pray, we have to know what prayer is, otherwise how does it work. Prayer is ultimately a 2 way thing, it is a conversation with God, our heavily father. In prayer we listen, we talk and we watch and wait with God. Just the same as any relationship with another person, it is a 2 way system. We come as children before our father, to seek his will in our lives, to bring forward things that God can help with in our lives and our world. We can only enter this place through Jesus and his acts on the cross with the help of the Holy spirit.
“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” – Ephesians 2 v 18
3. Gods view is from a better position then ours.
God has been around a long time and will continue to be around a while longer than us. He has seen a bit more then us in this world and he knows what’s going on. We love to be in control, we love stuff to happen when we want it to but God has a plan and he knows the best results for us, therefore we have to learn to let him be in control and trust him because we know he is a good God. I believe God does answer prayers but, even though we find this tough, he knows the best time scale, he knows how to fit everything together. We must trust God has the best plan for us and for our prayers.
4. Gods talking, we need to be aware.
We very often, in life, completely miss God, he speaks, through his word, through others, through a gentle nudge. God is speaking but quiet often we are to busy to listen and take in what God is saying to us. The phrase ‘hear the word of the Lord’ is mentioned 32 times in the NIV, ‘Listen’ is said 331 times and ‘Hear’ comes up 347 times. God is always speaking but we, so often, are not listening. We must be patience in prayer ad actually give time to our relationship with God if we want to see the full benefit of prayer.
5. How does God answer prayers?
God sometimes does answer prayers quickly and the answer fits with how we think it should. Sometimes though God answer our prayers in way we didn’t expect and with a time span we didn’t want. God has no specific format for answering prayers. He doesn’t answer the same prayer in the same way for different people. He is in relationship with his people, therefore he knows you deep down. He knows what his right for you and has plans for you to prosper.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29 v 11
Prayer is a massive thing in the Christian faith, Jesus refers to prayer many times as well as many other authors in the bible. We often see Jesus going off to pray to his heavenly father in quiet places. He sets an example to us that we should be setting time aside to pray, to devote ourselves to prayer and to know we must trust in God in all his ways and how he looks after us in life and in our prayers.
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This post was written by Pete Oram, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry and online assistants.
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