March 4, 2024

Do You Believe in Prayer?

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I would guess that a majority of us would say yes, and yet I believe that we’d be wrong. You see, I agree with Joel Hoffman in that I don’t think that those of us that call ourselves believers truly believe in prayer.

I have decided that I don’t believe in prayer. I don’t believe that God hears us when we speak to Him. I don’t believe that time I devote talking to God makes any difference whatsoever. It is a waste of time and I would rather do just about anything else, than to spend time on something so irrelevant as prayer. This is what I have come to realize.

Before you believe that I’ve jumped off the deep end, think through this for a second. What is it that you say that you believe that prayer does:

  1. Do you believe it is a way to talk with the Creator of the Universe?
  2. Do you believe that it actually changes things?

Really? Are you sure?

Our Actions Show What We Truly Think

We all show, each and every day, what we think about different things and what we value. We show in our priorities what we value. And it we truly believed that prayer changed things, we’d spend more time in it. I mean, we’ve all read blog posts about how to blog better, how to write better, what plugins to install, and how you too can be a great blogger in five simple steps. We’ve signed up for programs, participated in social networks, and leave comments all over the blogosphere.

What we do with our time says what we believe, and the pitiful amount that we (yes, me included) spend in prayer tells everyone that can see what we think of it:

The point is that if all the things the Bible says about prayer are true, most of us would radically rearrange and reprioritize our lives around prayer. Our lives would be different. Period.

Living With an Earthly Focus

Too much of the time we are just too busy running our own lives, doing our own things to be worried about asking the God of the Universe for direction– or even telling Him what we’re doing. The latter is what we fall into if we talk to God at all.

How many meetings are held in churches throughout America where we get together, say a prayer for God to bless OUR planning and then proceed as if we’re the all-knowing ones. We like to tell Him our plans, and pray that He’ll bless them, instead of asking Him what He wants.

It’s too bad we don’t believe in prayer. We will go on saying that we do and every once in while we will be reminded that we don’t, so we will try to pray more. Unfortunately, it won’t last long because deep down we don’t believe it makes a difference. We can’t hide it. Beliefs only mask the absence of action for so long.

How about you? Do you believe in prayer? Can you prove it?

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17 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Prayer?

  1. The first time I read this article, my gut reaction was to go, “What?!?!?!?” But then I took a step back and realized how right he is. Particularly this part:

    The point is that if all the things the Bible says about prayer are true, most of us would radically rearrange and reprioritize our lives around prayer. Our lives would be different. Period.

    As much as it pains me to admit it, this is true. If I really believed everything I said about prayer and how it works, I’d never get up off my knees.

    Amanda’s last blog post..It’s a Sad Day

  2. Ouch!  I was like Amanda, I had to do a double-take.  If we truly believed that prayer worked, we would be constantly on our knees and we would work our schedules around that prayer time not the other way around.

  3. Yes, I absolutely believe in prayer.
    Faith proves prayer.
    Since I learned to say “thank you” prayers, I find that I have an on going dialogue with God at all times.
    The nature of our sins keep us from God, but asking His forgiveness and changing our sinful ways ALWAYS brings us back to Him.
    Try for a week not to “ask” the Lord for anything, but to thank Him for EVERYTHING. I think you’ll see a change in how you react to His blessings.

  4. Actually, I think that you have to have faith when you pray. And I think you have a great idea for a healthy exercise. If we were to practice being more thankful we would find that we would have a better outlook on life!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. I totally agree with you.It was a similar conversation I was having with a friend, about six years ago, which inspired us to start meeting weekly to pray.  The tricky part is my friend works (at our church), so we meet at 6:30 am every Thursday!I have been amazed over these years at how few people have made the effort to join us.

    Rebecca’s last blog post..Winter Tops for Smart Casual

  6. I think that I’ve found that prayer is one of the things that “everyone agrees on” and yet at the same time we don’t put the time in we should.Hence the post…

  7. I have to wonder why it is that we don’t put the time in. Is it because we’re lazy? Or is it because prayer is one of those things that “everyone agrees on” because we’re supposed to, yet we don’t really trust it?

    Amanda’s last blog post..Stone them?

  8. That’s a very good question, Amanda.

    I think that it’s part the fact that it seems like it’s one way– and that when we don’t see immediate results we get disheartened. I think another thing is our lack of faith– we pray, but we don’t think anything will happen because things don’t happen immediately. I think we also live in a time and place where we believe (and things around us demonstrate) that we can take care of ourselves– there’s a lack of dependence. Lastly, I think that we aren’t truly serious about our relationship with God– we have more important things to do, it seems.

    What do you all think?

  9. Wouldn’t all of those things point back to a lack of belief in prayer?
    Honestly, if we really believed it would work, we would do it, rather than just saying we believe in prayer.
    Does that make sense?

    Amanda’s last blog post..Stone them?

  10. I guess it goes back to what we mean by belief. I mean, they say that the demons believe in God and tremble– yet they are not saved. We say that we believe that prayer works, but we don’t have experiential belief we have theological belief.

    Truth be told, prayer is powerful, and it changes things, but too often we get caught up in doing rather than waiting in listening. Too many times we’re off “doing the work of the Lord” not because He said “this is what I want you to do” but because we believe that we should be doing such and such. We’re a doing kind a of people.

    Yet if you look through the Bible at the times when God actually used someone for His purpose, they weren’t off doing good works, they were cultivating a relationship with God where they were. And then God called them to service.

    This is something that I’m struggling through right now– doing a workbook on Experiencing God for my devotions, and it really challenges what you think about how God speaks to you and the whole idea of doing what God wants done rather than guessing what God wants done and doing whatever…

  11. I am the plagiariser. It has been my experience that
    people do not bother with links, or they look it over and if they have
    anything to say they are too lazy to go back. And actually it is linked
    (click on my title) I always cite my source.On a second note I am impressed you even found me because I found you stumbling around the ‘net.

  12. I believe in prayer to the extent that it can change your attitude about a situation. I do not believe that prayer changes God’s will about anything. If you pray and the thing you are praying for or about happens, it’s because it was supposed to happen in the first place and not because God was influenced in any way by the prayer.

  13. Rene, the problem with whole text plagiarizing is that it dilutes the original text in search rankings. It’s like you’re stealing content, visitors, etc. I’m glad that you linked back to my site, but I’d prefer that, in the future, you take a section and then link to the original instead of taking it all.

    Fran, I’ve thought through this a few times, and I always struggle. I will admit that I’m not fully sure how to negotiate the passages that talk about God repenting of something and God’s sovereign will. What do I mean? Well, multiple times in the Old Testament, God said that He repented, or changed His mind, about something. He repented that He had made man right before the flood. He changed His mind about killing all the Jews and starting over Moses after Moses begged Him not to do it. And there are other accounts. How does that align itself with an all-knowing God? How can a God whose will is sovereign change His mind because of petition. And why would we need an Advocate with the Father if this were not possible?

    I don’t know the answers here, all I have is a lot of questions.

  14. I believe in prayers because prayers work,and those who do not know how to prayer they dont believe that it works and they have little faith.Again any body that said he dont believe in prayers sorry to said this such person will never believe the existance of GOD.I’m what today is because of prayers. Thanks
    Ayiku John

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