Do the prayers of God’s children actually produce specific changes in the circumstances of our lives? Do our prayers really move mountains, heal the sick or provide jobs? If so, can we identify the exact changes that occurred because we prayed? And if our prayers do not have such results is it because we (A) did not pray enough or (B) because we did not pray correctly or (C) we did not have enough faith or (D) some combination of the above?
This is not an issue of “Does God bless me.” Every day he blesses me in hundreds of ways I never think to pray for. (My body keeps making white blood cells. My house did not collapse yesterday. Our military did not have a nuclear accident last night.)
It is an issue of specific changes as a result of my prayers.
It is not an issue of “Has God granted any of my prayer requests.” My family remains healthy, my country is safe from terrorist attacks and my church leaders continue to make wise decisions.
But my friends are not cured from Parkinson’s, my grand daughter still does not have a job that will provide her economic security and my governmental representatives can not seem to make reasonable decisions.
My greatest fear is that when I get to heaven I will find these, and other specific changes, did not occur in my earthly lifetime because my prayer life was inadequate.
I suppose my attitude should be “God does not make specific changes I request because He plans to give me something better.” But if He is hearing, and ignoring, my requests for the less-than-the-best , then my praying is having no effect at all. (Except perhaps on me.) And the answer to the original question is “No.”
Does this mean that the secret to having prayer requests granted is to first correctly discern what He wants in the first place? Does that mean my ONLY prayer for change in this world should be “Father, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven and give me the strength and wisdom to accept it as adequate and complete?”
When I have heard preachers/teachers extol the value of Christians asking spiritual questions, I have always wondered if such activity can sometimes cause problems for the listeners. I pray this has not happened for you as read this.