17 November 2007

Does Prayer Change Things?

Yesterday I passed a church with a message board out front that said "Prayer Changes Things". I've heard a hundred different flavors of this same message - "Prayer Works", "Prayer Can Change the World", etc. I suddenly don't get it. What is prayer?
Wikipedia says this:

Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate, commonly with a sequence of words, with a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions.

I think this would be a fairly accurate assessment of the common understanding about prayer. My thinking is this – when we say prayer changes things, we make God the passive activist of our wills. It is God alone who changes things as He purposes or wills. Yes, He allows us to come to Him as a child to their father with our petitions, but in the end has to choose the best.

I understand the sentiment behind such a statement – but we need to always be cautious to remember that it is not the Lord who does our bidding, but the other way around. It is a common expression that tends to credit the power to the person praying, when indeed true prayer is an act of humility in relationship with Father, and a confession in the act itself that we are powerless.

Geesh, I wish I could just drive through neighborhoods and notice the colors of people's shutters!


  1. I agree. Too often we want to tell God what we want done, changed, etc. I am so glad He does not do our bidding- can you imagine? I am really trying to be disciplined in the area of shutting my mouth, praying, and trusting God to bring about good things in areas of my life where I don't have the answers.

  2. I have understood for a long time now that prayer changes ME. When I pray, worship and read the Bible and then truly listen to God then I come into alignment with God not the other way around.

  3. Well I think that prayer CAN change things. I believe if it does not get in the way of his master plan then He will consider it. Two examples I can think of one is in the old Testament where the people begged for a King. And he gave it to them. It was not what was best for them. (as a joke I always use this when saying God gave me triplets because I begged and begged for children.) But also in Matthew 21:22 it says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Of course you don't always get what you want. James 4:3 says, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

    So I do believe Prayer changes things,but the way prayer changes things the most is what Kathie said, it changes the hearts of the person who prays.

    Just my humble opinion of what I believe


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥