Prayer 101: Why Pray?

“…as you help us by means of your prayers for us. So it will be that the many prayers for us will be answered, and God will bless us; and many will raise their voices to him in thanksgiving for us.” (2 Corinthians 1:11, Good News Translation).

Several weeks ago, I was asked the question, “Does it matter if I pray when others are already praying?” Much of the time, when I get these kinds of questions, it is from someone searching for an argument they can use when attempting to defend their agnostic or atheist point of view. That was not the case on this day. He continued, “And if it does matter, if it does motivate God to action then isn’t this all popularity contest?”

The person I was talking to really wanted to know, if someone is already praying for “Joe,” what difference does it make if I pray as well? They are not an atheist or an agnostic. I have known this person all his life. I know this man is not an atheist or agnostic. He just wanted the answer to this question.

Prayer, no matter how many people are praying in a given situation absolutely makes a difference. I don’t have all the answers to prayer questions. But I can talk about what I do know.

First, I know God desires for us to pray. I see this one much like the church fellowship dinner. How do we fellowship with God? We, me and God, sit and we pray. That is why we often ask God to bless our fellowship together. Our fellowship should always include God.

Next, when we pray we invite God to join us in the relationship we have with another person. For whatever the reason, be it health or a strained relationship, there is more involved than you can do, so you ask God to enter into this relationship between you and someone else.

We often pray for people we don’t know. Most of you know, I have a new granddaughter. Sydney was born, came home from the hospital and in less than 48 hours, she was back in the hospital and spent more than a month in NICU. There were people all over praying for that little girl. I have clergy friends in various parts of the world, many of whom I barely know, who were praying for our little girl. Sydney is doing much better. She still isn’t where doctors would like for her to be but she is improving at home. If we didn’t have so many people praying, would God have healed her? My answer is a resounding yes but I would invite you to check in tomorrow and I will talk about the ways God heals us.

So doesn’t that take us back full circle to where we are back to asking the question does God treat things differently when more people pray?

Today’s lesson does speak to this idea of more people praying. Let me repeat this again. “…as you help us by means of your prayers for us. So it will be that the many prayers for us will be answered, and God will bless us; and many will raise their voices to him in thanksgiving for us.”

When we pray, many of us join in one accord, Paul says we celebrate together. We give God the glory together. We unite in support during times of grief. Even when our prayer seems to go unanswered, God is sill with us. God still walks with us. And, I say this often and will continue to say it, where God is there is always hope.

Another consideration is, prayer changes things. As we pray situations change. As I pray about a relationship that is strained, God is at work but one of the ways God is at work is to open my eyes to the wrongs I am doing and where I need to repent and change. If both people involved repent and change we could find ourselves well on the road to reconciliation and restoration. God is doing it but God is doing it by working on both of us. Prayer changes things.

I don’t claim to know it all, but I do know this. Prayer works because God is in every situation where we call on the power of God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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