Prayer – A Must

image of girl prayingPrayer is the medium through which we communicate with God. In Genesis 4: 26 we see the notable beginnings of man calling upon the name of the Lord, and since then humankind has continued to pray to God for all our needs.  We teach our children the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke 11:2-4 (Lord's Prayer) as soon as they are able to speak. This important first step creates a bond between the child and his Creator.

Prayer is important to human beings. We pray because we seek guidance in our lives.  We look to God for divine guidance, healing for loved one, protection for our families and answers to difficult questions.  There are many other reasons why people pray.  However, the question we all ask, even the most faithful amongst us from time to time is, do our prayers go unanswered.  The Bible is clear on this question, in Matthew 7 Jesus said:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

However, in a world that has turned from God to science, these thoughts are more prevalent.  Many have come to rely more on the seen than the unseen, on the tangible rather than the intangible. We have left God and become more trusting in science.

The effects of Prayer have been a focus of debate in the scientific community for several years now.  Research has been conducted to measure the effects of intercessory prayer in healing, with evidence ranging from neutral to positive effect.image of man praying for sick patient  A study done by Cardiologist Randolph Byrd, where a randomized double-blind protocol was followed, suggested that “intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU (Cardiac Care Unit)”1

As well, David R. Hodge, an assistant professor of social work in the College of Human Services at Arizona State University conducted a comprehensive analysis of 17 major studies on the effects of intercessory prayer.  He concluded that intercessory prayers had positive effects on healing. His report was published in the March 2007 edition of Research on Social Work Practice.  Science can only measure evidence in the known universe, without absolute conclusions. In the end, we come right back to our question, does God answer our prayers?

Jesus has already given us the answer in Matthew, so why does this question still linger?  Are we sincere when we pray? Are we asking for the right reasons?  The Apostle James says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3). 

Prayers are answered when the prayers are asked according to God’s plan.  In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Intercessory prayers are selfless and effective when people set time aside to communicate with God for others.  The members of our prayer ministry do exactly that, each month they set aside time to fast and seek God in prayer.  We invite you to send your prayer request as we humble ourselves and pray for guidance in a world that is in need to hear from its’ Creator.

1 Southern Medical Journal 1988 Jul; 81(7): 826-9