Does prayer change things?


Growing up in an evangelical home, I was often in other Christian homes and noticed there was a popular wall plaque that adorned most of them. It said: “Prayer Changes Things.” It’s true, but do we believe it? Do we live as if it does?

Prayer is probably the most underutilized weapon in our spiritual arsenal. Prayer brings us to God and brings God to us. It’s a mystery how a sovereign God cooperates with us while still remaining in control, but He does. It’s best not to overthink this. It’s best just to believe it and participate, because prayer does change things.

Prayer is exciting. It is the means by which the spiritual becomes tangible — the unseen becomes seen. Prayer brings the Holy Spirit to action. Not like it’s some magical spigot we turn on; it’s the means by which we cooperate with God, and God with us. It’s the means by which God breaks in on our lives. Prayer is activation.

It’s true that prayer changes us as well. It, more than anything, can get us in line with God. When you start praying about something, you start to become more aware of God’s will. While it’s true that prayer changes us along with changing things, focusing inwardly can also become a kind of faith-breaker. We can explain away God’s apparent inactivity by pointing to ourselves instead, and making what happens to us the most important.

This has been popular for a few decades as the “Me” generation took on spirituality as a means of self-improvement. But we’ve been catering to ourselves long enough. Rick Warren announced this in the opening sentence of Purpose Driven Life: “It’s not about you.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to prayer changing things. I’m ready to get back to prayer making a difference in the world around me. I’m ready for prayer to be making more than just a dent in someone else’s life. I’m ready to believe that, test it and count on it. I’m ready to take some real needs to some gifted brothers and sisters who believe that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Instead of explaining prayer away, I’d rather be unable to explain what just happened except through answered prayer. I’m ready to put in for some prayers and see some answers. I’m ready to pray and be prayed for. How about you?

From a MemberPartner…

There is absolutely nothing out there in the blogosphere that remotely resembles the Catch. No one writes with quite the same unique combination of realism, idealism, perception, poetry, passion and understanding as John. He is the champion of ‘the Gospel of Welcome.’ Only self-effacing sinners will get what he is on about; he is the scourge of pretense. Reality and honesty are fundamentals in John’s world. But overwhelmingly and implicitly, he is the champion of the gospel of grace! God’s amazing, marvelous, intoxicating, stupendous grace! This is what the Catch has to offer. Unique insights relating to faith, life, our relationships with God and man wrapped up in images, metaphors, and stories relating to a vulnerable humanity, told with grace and wit. Healing. Enlightening. Liberating. Inspiring. Energizing.

That is why I continue to anticipate each blog each weekday. It encourages and inspires me. It frequently helps me to look at the familiar with a fresh new insight that reflects God’s perspective and grace. That is why I pass it on to my family and friends. And that is why I invest in this ministry with a monthly contribution.

If this is how you feel about the Catch, join me in helping John with your financial as well as your prayer support. Today!

New Zealand

(Click on the picture  of Dave’s beautiful country to become

a MemberPartner today!)

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2 Responses to Does prayer change things?

  1. Bev Goff says:

    I have started 2 prayer chains in the churches I have been involved in. They both happened after email came into being. It is a wonderful way for many to share in the needs of prayer of others. I also spend time with the homeless ladies that stay at our church every Sunday night to be safe and they look forward to sharing their daily concerns with me and ask for prayers which they tell me that they know our prayers help them because good things have come to them each week. I take those concerns and send them out each week to the 76 people on my current prayer chain list. Now because of it there is another church that is offering this same thing to the ladies who stay at their church. I sometimes feel that God has really blessed me with this opportunity to see another side of life through the eyes of these women whom I call friends as well as the good feeling I get knowing that others are praying for my homeless friends.
    Your daily Catch today was very fulfilling and appreciated today as it always is.
    Thanks for giving me all you do each day with The Catch.
    Mesa AZ

  2. Andrew P. says:

    “It’s best not to overthink this. It’s best just to believe it and participate.” Amen, John. The older I get, the more I come to understand that there may be a lot of things we’ve tended to overthink — more in some religious traditions than others. If we have to explain away something in scripture to take literally something we really want to take literally, we may be guilty of overthinking something. Both of those “competing” scriptures are true!

    And prayer certainly fits into a similar category, being something we must believe in, even when we cannot explain it. So perhaps we should quit asking “how,” and spend the time we would previously have spent in analysis, in actual praying, instead!

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