Saturday, March 31, 2012

Does Prayer Change Things? Really?

Been thinking about prayer lately because of Romans 1:9-16. And thought about the old slogan, "Prayer Changes Things." And I thought, "Seriously?"

Does Prayer really Change things? I’ve always heard that. It seems that’s what the Bible teaches, right? But if God already knows what is going to happen, does He change?
First, the slogan never said “Prayer changes God.” God is the same always. He’s “immutable,” that means unchanging. So what does God change?

Have you ever considered that when God changes situations, He knew He would change the situation, and He knew that you were going to pray and ask that He change it, and He already knew He would, in answer to your prayer…before you prayed it.
God told Isaiah, “Before you speak I will answer.”

So, Yes, Prayer changes things, if God hears and honors your prayer. But God also changes people… sometimes.

So Whose prayer does God answer and Who does God change?

God hears the prayers of the righteous, who pray in faith. Does that mean only the really good people? No. The only true righteousness is given by God to the one who repents from sin and believes in Him. Righteousness is a gift that God gives the believer. He also gives the gifts of faith and repentance. Everything God gives for our good is a grace gift. That is, we don’t deserve any of it. 

But God often changes the person who is praying. He may increase our faith through prayer, or our love for others. He may give us greater insight into the things and people we pray about. So not only does prayer change things, prayer changes people, especially the one praying.

And How does God do this?

Well by His spirit in the inner man. Not everyone has God’s Spirit. Not that His Spirit isn’t everywhere but to be indwelt and have your inner person made alive only happens to the believer. So by God’s power within the believer He brings change in their life. He also changes things. He is the power behind Romans 8:28. Remember? “All things work together for good.” You didn’t think things just worked together on their own did you? God is at work in the things that need to change in order to benefit the believer.

And Why does He do it? God does everything for His glory. What does that mean? His glory is how God is known. It’s related to His reputation, but it’s more than that. It is the outshining of His brightness. He is light and love and goodness. He is Holy, Just, and crushing. These are all part of His glory. Jesus displayed the Glory of the Father in His life on earth. And all Jesus did, just as all the Father and the Spirit do, is for His Name’s Sake! It’s for the Glory of God.

But there is one more question about prayer changing things; When.

When? In God’s good time. We can’t make Him act. We can’t demand that He act on our behalf. Well, I guess “we can demand.” But God is not on our time table. But He’s never too late to accomplish His purposes! He’s always on time; Always. He may not do what we ask, in the same way we would, or the way we would like Him to. He may not do it when we ask, or by our deadline. He may not do what we ask at all because our request just might not be within His will.

But He wants us to ask. He wants us to pray and not give up; to pray and never ever ever give up.

And remember the prayers of the righteous avail (count for) much.