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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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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