Does Prayer Really Work?
Matthew 7:8 is one of my favorite scriptures… for many reasons really. The number one reason is that I wholeheartedly believe that you will never receive what you want or need unless you take the necessary step of simply asking for it. Yet how many of us never take that simple but crucial step? We may wish for change. We may hope we’ll get a new job, find a loving spouse, or that a wayward child will find his/her way back home, but unless we fall to our knees and ask, we simply wish without the power of God to back it up. But
What About Unanswered Prayers? That’s a very good question, and one I, myself, have asked many a time. There are several prayers I have prayed, many fervent requests that I have made, that I have not received an answer for, at least not in the way that I had initially imagined anyway. Like when my real estate business tanked in ’08 and ’09. I asked God to put things right, and he told me to move to Spokane. He didn’t refill my coffers, He didn’t take away the banks’ angry demands, and He most certainly did not restore my wealth (immediately anyway). Instead, he told me to move from Salt Lake City and start all over somewhere else. He answered my prayers His way, not my way.
The Anglican archbishop and poet, Richard Trench once said, “Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven, but getting God’s will done on earth. It is not overcoming God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” I can honestly say that had I not heeded God’s will, the blessings I have today would never have come to fruition. I laid hold of God’s willingness, rather than battling with His reluctance to help me.
Other Reasons for Praying. For you skeptics, you should know that the secular and scientific worlds have also taken note of the Power of Prayer. Study after study has shown that if you want to achieve maximum health, you should, of course, exercise regularly, eat nutritious and minimally processed foods, drop those extra pounds — and, believe it or not, pray. That’s right, regular prayer and meditation have been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. Scientific America and the Mayo Clinic both acknowledge that prayer is highly beneficial to the healing of a sick patient.
Maybe that is why a University of Rochester study showed that over 85 percent of people confronting a major illness, pray. That is far higher than taking herbs or pursuing other nontraditional healing modalities.
Increasingly the evidence shows that prayer works. It has in my life, and I guarantee it will work in yours. Just know that God’s will, not yours, is done through prayer, and perhaps the blessings you receive will not be what you initially asked for, but I bet they will be ten times better!
FOR EVERYONE WHO ASKS RECEIVES; THE ONE WHO SEEKS FINDS; AND TO THE ONE WHO KNOCKS, THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED.