January 26, 2022

Does Prayer Even Work?

Does prayer even work? If you have ever wondered about this existential question, you’re not alone. So often we view prayer like a request box that God labeled, “What can I do for you?” We write down our heart’s deepest desire on a little slip of paper, slip it in the box, and impatiently wait for God to work His magic.

When we don’t get what we asked for, we are left with the conclusion that prayer must not work.

Thank goodness this is not how God works. Can you think of a time in your life when what God had for you was infinitely better than what you had envisioned for yourself?

Prayer is a not a request box; it’s a transformational practice. Before God does something around you, He first does something in you.

Sometimes, it looks like deeper building in you, a peace that fills you, or a nudge to change or transform your life and the way you think.

God builds things through prayer.

God is constantly working in more ways than we could ever comprehend. And He lets us partner with Him. Can you believe that? The God of the universe allows us to play a part in the way He accomplishes His work in the world.

Prayer propels us into mission with God. It aligns our motives with His plan. So instead of showing up with a wish list to be granted we show up with a  willing heart ready to be transformed by Him.

But God doesn’t just transform us. He’s so much bigger than that.

He uses our transformation to transform our communities.

Does that mean there’s not a miraculous side of prayer? That we should not ask God to do things? Not exactly.

“When we pray, things happen. God moves. He does things only He can do.”

Think about it this way, long before we ever recognize the work that God is doing around us, God called someone to pray.

In Exodus 33, Moses goes out to a tent to talk to God like someone talks to a friend. His prayer is essentially this,

God, you’ve told me you know me and that we are working well together. Keep showing me who You are and how You work so that I can get to know You better and we can continue to work well together.

In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah finds out that the city of Jerusalem had their walls burned down, leaving the people vulnerable.

But before he ever goes to investigate the work that needs to be done, he prays…for months.

People like Moses and Nehemiah communed with God through prayer. They were on the lookout for what God was doing and were ready to be used by God when the opportunity came.

So, does prayer work?

You know what we’re going to say … Yes! 

Here’s how:

  1. God is always at work.  
    He doesn’t need our partnership to accomplish His will, but out of love He gives us a part in the story He is weaving. His invites us into His plan, and prayer aligns our motives with that plan. 
  2. Prayer aligns us with God’s work. 
    When we pray, God transforms us. When we are transformed, God can use us to transform the world around usOur continuous prayer should be the prayer Moses prayed: “God, you’ve told me you know me and that we are working well together. Keep showing me who You are and how You work so that I can get to know You better, so we can continue to work well together.” 

The more we get to know God, the more in line the desires of our hearts will be with His. So we must continuously seek to know Him deeper.

Let your prayer this week be, “God, how do you want to use me?”

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