Monday, April 30, 2007

When do Prayers Work?

The other day I was talking with someone whose spouse has had a lot of health issues. Thankfully things are looking better and as she was explaining that to me, she said "it looks like everyone's prayers are finally working." It got me thinking how we only feel that our prayers are "working" or being answered when we get what we are praying for.

Well I couldn't shake this conversation from my mind. It can't be that for all the times we pray and feel like we are getting no answer that our prayers aren't working! Certainly it feels that way, but are the weeks, months and years of praying worthless? The verses that came to mind that confirmed this ISN'T true are:

Psalm 10:17: The Lord hears our prayers, and encourages us during that time! While our prayers may not be answered the way we desire at the moment, the Lord uses this time of turning to Him to encourage us!

Psalm 28:6: Again the Lord hears our cries for mercy! He hears EVERY cry for mercy - not just ones we make on days when we are good and righteous.

The Bible is filled with verses on how the Lord hears our cries (our prayers) for help. I would never have the time to write them here (go to and do a search for prayer or hear)

Psalm 40:1-3 shows how the psalmist waited patiently for the Lord. Verse 3 says how the Lord put a new song in his mouth. Just think as the psalmist was waiting patiently on the Lord (probably for an answer to prayer or for direction for a choice he faced), his focus was turned on worshipping the Lord. Rarely do I do this, I just keep my focus on me.

Finally, remember that God has said in Hebrews 13:5 that He will NEVER leave you or forsake (to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert) you. That means during the times you are praying and it feels like it is falling on deaf ears, remember God did not abandon you! In Psalm 13, the psalmist felt EXACTLY this way, but he chose to TRUST in God's UNFAILING LOVE.

So, to wrap up what my thoughts were wrestling with this weekend - YES our prayers do WORK - every single one of them! So as the Bible says simply in I Thessalonians 5:17 PRAY CONTINUALLY!


Lisa said...

Amen! My son and I had a converstaion about prayer the other day. I told him sometimes God says "Yes". Sometimes God says, "No". And sometimes He says, "Wait". But He does it all in love and for our good. :o)

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow