Prayer

Tomorrow night for youth group, I am diving into the issue of prayer.  There are many different directions to go.  But what are your thoughts on prayer?  

A question I was asked a couple of weeks ago – “If God knows everything, our desires, needs, etc…” then why do we need to ask Him for those things?  Why do we need to pray to God?

And then, there are other issues that come to mind.  Atheists love to throw prayer in the face of Christians claiming that it never works.  There is an article found here that discusses this very issue.  This is the opening sentence…”A study found those who were prayed for were as likely to have a setback in hospital, be re-admitted, or die within six months as those not prayed for.”  How do we fight this.  Scientists have done studies on prayer and they found prayer to be useless…

Obviously, I highly believe in the power of prayer…but how do we fight off these attacks

on prayer?  Why are our prayers not answered sometimes?  Why should we pray?  Why do people die after an entire church has prayed for their body to be healed?  Why do people suffer through financial hardships?  Why does God seemingly say, “No” whenever we petition on our behalf to Him?  How are we supposed to pray?  I have my opinions, and I am currently studying the issue by reading “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?” by Philip Yancey.  I plan on studying hard and getting a fresh look at what prayer is, but I really really really want other people to comment here.  I can use the input, the fresh look at prayer through the eyes of another Christian, the painful and unanswered questions, and the edifying fellowship.  I want you to post if you read this.  Simply put, you can help my walk by posting.  

So, post away….

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  1. July 15, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t pray nearly enough. It’s my biggest struggle. But my friend, Aaron Baker, recently mentioned in his facebook note that the reason we don’t pray may be because we have not put ourselves in a position in which we need prayer. That is, if we stepped out of our comfort zone into the unknown, dare I say dangerous, we would turn to God more. Of course, like I said, I’m terrible at this.

  2. July 15, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Does prayer change things? Not sure. I know of one situation when Moses prayed and God changed His action.

    What about how Paul says that Christians don’t know how to pray like they should, so the Holy Spirit speaks in ways that we cannot utter.

    Other questions: Does God hear the prayers of the unsaved? Does God speak to people during prayer? Is it ok to have a priest pray for you?

  3. July 16, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Hey, so I enjoyed Jeremy’s point. If we aren’t pushing ourselves to the point of needing prayer, then why pray? Atleast I think that is the mindset of a lot of believers. For we are to pray even when things are good, yes? Thanking our Lord for how He is working in our lives and He will work in us in the future.

    A verse I came across last summer that threw me off was that angels do not watch over unbelievers. I can’t remember where it was, I’ll find it and get back to you. But that always threw me off because people pray so often, “Lord, send your angels to watch over him/her…” however, if they are unbelievers, the angels will not. But I suppose our God, being all powerful, could change things like that.. Just some thoughts. I’ll find the reference in my book this afternoon and get it to you. I’m out!

    -Sweany

  4. Derek
    July 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    A preacher once made this statement to me and it served as a hit across the face. He said, “If you so me your prayer life, I’ll show you how proud you are.” By us(me) not praying we are telling God that we don’t need Him. We are telling Him that we’ve got it all under control and we will call on Him when we fall on our faces. If we deal with our pride, then I think we can begin traveling the road toward a better prayer life.

  5. July 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks so much for the help guys. I’ll be updating following tonight on how the lesson/stuff goes

  6. Sandy
    September 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    All of you make some good points. I totally agree with Derek when he says by us not praying, we are telling God that we don’t need him and that we have it under control. I think that a lot of times that is the case. We think that we have it under control until something major happens that we can’t cope with. A lot of times it takes a major event for us to realize that we need God in every aspect of our life and also brings us to an humble state for God to hear and answer our prayer. I believe some reasons our prayer aren’t answered is becauase we aren’t right standing with God, or we don’t believe that He will do what we are asking him to do, we are not praying according to His scriptures. A pastor once told me, when you pray bring God into rememberance of His word. What is His word the bible. To sum things up read His word, believe His word, pray His word.

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