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How Does Prayer Work? - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - July 9, 2020

  • 2020 Jul 09

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How Does Prayer Work?
By Rick Warren

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV).

Have you ever wondered if prayer really works? Maybe Satan has whispered to you, “Prayer is a waste of time. Forget it! Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? God isn’t even listening.”

But here’s the truth: Prayer works because God is in control.

In fact, the basis of all miracles is God’s sovereignty. What does that mean? It means he is God Almighty, who has all power in Heaven and on Earth, so his purpose and his will prevail. It’s why we learn to trust his wisdom and his goodness. It’s why we learn about his loving nature and his generous character.

And we mature in faith as we understand that God has a better view of our circumstances than we do, and that he knows what is best for us. He can see our future, and we can’t. The Bible says, “But his plans endure forever; his purposes last eternally” (Psalm 33:11 GNT).

God’s unlimited resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, “Ask.” Isn’t it encouraging to know that things out of our control are not out of God’s control? You may not be able to change a situation, but you can pray and God can change it.

You may be thinking, “If I can pray and ask God to change things, and if God is really in control of everything, why don’t I get everything I pray for?” Here are three reasons:

God is not a genie

Just because we pray, that doesn’t mean we get whatever we want. If every prayer were answered, we’d be spoiled brats. If you’re a parent, do you give your children everything they ask for? Probably not. As an adult, you know what’s best for them. You can see the bigger picture. If we can see the bigger picture for our kids, how much bigger is the picture that God can see for us?

Sometimes Christians pray in conflict

Sometimes Christians pray for different outcomes, even though they’re praying about the same thing. Which prayer is God going to answer? God can’t answer every prayer in the same way at the same time.

God knows what’s best, and we don’t

The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV). 

That’s how Jesus prayed: “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42 NLT).

Prayer works. It isn’t a waste of your time. God is in control, and he wants to hear your prayers—he is listening!

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daily hope prayer journal rick warrenUnlock the Keys to Praying with Passion and Purpose

Make prayer time the best time of your day with the brand-new 2022 Daily Hope Prayer Journal!

This easy-to-carry hardback journal with a soft-touch cover gives you the tools you need to establish a consistent daily prayer time. It’ll help you connect with the Lord and enjoy a vibrant prayer life as you unlock the keys to praying with passion and purpose.

Inside you’ll find 235 beautifully designed pages filled with:

• Practical encouragement for your prayer life from Pastor Rick
• Sections that guide you to pray for specific people and situations
• Space for writing out what God is showing you
• Encouraging Bible verses
• Gorgeous artwork and inspiring photos

Dive into this year’s theme, “Connecting with Jesus: The Source of Living Water,” and tap into God’s power and presence as you’re reminded how much God loves you and wants to be an active part of your life.

The all new 2022 Daily Hope Prayer Journal is our thanks for your gift to reach people around the world with the hope of Jesus. So ask for it when you give today!

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All gifts will be doubled up to the full amount of the grant. Thank you for your generous support!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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