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Prayer: Why Does it Matter?

Updated: Jul 8

When faced with adversity, it is common for people to offer prayers as a form of support. These words, "Prayin’ for you," "Sending prayers your way," and "I will keep you in my prayers," are often expressed during moments of difficulty or loss. While these words can bring comfort to the recipients, it is important to consider the true significance behind them. Some individuals may say these phrases without fully grasping the meaning of prayer, or they may doubt its effectiveness, viewing it merely as a superficial gesture. Non-believers may hold such views, but this should not be the mindset of a true believer in Christ.

So, what is prayer? Prayer is our way of communicating with God, the Creator of the universe and of each one of us. He is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (always present). When we pray, we are not just speaking into the void or to some created entity, but to the living God! Even though we may not see Him, He sees us, knows us, and hears us. There is nothing we can do, say, or anywhere we can go that escapes His awareness. He possesses all knowledge. Therefore, when I intently pray to God, and have faith to believe, both for myself and others, I can do so confidently that He will answer according to His will.

One important lesson from scripture is that we should pray not only in times of trouble but also during times of joy. Often, we forget to show gratitude to God for the blessings we have, instead turning to Him only when we are in need. The verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 encourages us to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." This verse clearly indicates that we are not only instructed to pray but also to give thanks. However, this does not guarantee that we will receive everything we ask for. As mentioned in 1 John 5:14,15, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him." This means that whatever we bring before God, we can trust that He will answer according to His plan for our lives, as He alone understands all the complexities involved. While we may not always receive what we desire through prayer, we can be certain that God will provide what we truly need according to His plan and His timing.

Some years ago, late one night I received a knock on the door by the police to inform me that my husband was in an accident with his friends. One died on impact and my husband, and the other friend was in the emergency room. As I was getting ready to go see him, I was praying because I knew that prayer could do what I could not. When I arrived, he was able to talk to me and begin to express his regret for things that were not right in our marriage and that he would change. I prayed with him and just knew that he would come through his injuries, but the outcome didn't happen as I prayed. After 2 weeks, he passed away. At the time, we had 5 school aged children at home. They were devastated and so was I but there is something about the comfort that only the Lord can bring. Not only had I prayed but there were others praying as well. I genuinely felt a comfort that cannot clearly be explained. It didn't mean that I wasn't sad, but I was able to rest in the assurance that God knew my circumstance and that He would provide what was needed for our family and that is exactly what He did.

Prayer does matter because God loves us and designed prayer as a way to connect with Him and seek His guidance on matters that affect us and others. I urge you to dedicate time to prayer, communicating with our loving Heavenly Father who is concerned about every aspect of our lives. Many mistakes in relationships and decisions, whether big or small, could be avoided if we would seek His direction. Let's follow His lead in directing our lives.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12.

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