The Impact of Prayer

Our words to the Lord matter because He listens—and He responds with wisdom, love, and power.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

As we saw yesterday, prayer is how we develop a close relationship with God. But it’s common for believers to have questions about its power and effectiveness. For example, many people ask:

  • Will God’s plans fail if I don’t pray? God isn’t subservient to us or dependent upon our prayers. The time we invest in speaking with Him includes us in the work that He’s doing in our lives and in the world, but He can carry on without our involvement.
  • Does my prayer (or lack thereof) impact God’s work? Scripture indicates the answer to this question is both yes and no. There are times when God’s purpose is set. He is in control and has determined the best course. In the Old Testament, the Lord often prophesied what He would do and then brought those events to pass. In other cases, the principle that applies is, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). There are some good things that He holds back until we put out prayerful hands to receive them. But because God is a loving Father, He also pours out blessings that we wouldn’t even think to request.

For us as believers, prayer has tremendous impact, especially on our own faith and life. Understand what an awesome privilege it is to kneel before the Father and know He listens and will respond. God loves to be good to His children and answer their prayers.