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“Prayer works!” is one of my least favorite phrases in all of Christendom.

I love prayer. I love the intimacy prayer provides me and my heavenly Father.

I do believe prayer is profitable. I do believe prayer is effective. I do NOT believe “prayer works.” Shocked?

Welcome to Powerful Prayer Tip Tuesday!

Prayer, Prayer Tips, Powerful Prayer

When we use the phrase, “Prayer works!” only when God answers our prayers as we hope, we misrepresent prayer’s purpose. For those who get a No to their prayer requests for their child’s healing of a terminal illness, does this mean that prayer does not work for them? Certainly not. This is the danger of this phrase – it gives the impression that prayer works for some, but not for all, and that is just not true.

Prayer works in a myriad of ways, but it does not work to carry out our wish list. Prayer is so much more than many of us realize. It’s more than giving thanks at mealtimes; it’s giving God thanksgiving and praise throughout the day for the big and small things.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2

Prayer is about acknowledging our failings so He can help us overcome sin and self. Prayer is about learning to become content with God’s sovereignty in every matter, even when a No comes. Prayer helps us to be watchful. It helps us to become more patient while we wait for Him to answer.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Prayer is where God grows our passions and heart for ministry. This is where God nudges us to encourage others and share the gospel with the lost. It is a time for God to touch our busy minds. It is during prayer that we gain spiritual insight on what God is doing behind the scenes. Prayer casts out confusion and cultivates clarity.

With prayer, the possibilities are endless! When we use the phrase, “Prayer works!” let it be to describe how time with God in prayer has changed us!

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.

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4 Comments

  1. This is such a powerful yet truthful statement. I used to say that but as I became wiser in my worship and prayer I really stopped saying “prayer works”. Instead I tell people “pray to God so that He may give you clarity or show you what His plan is for you.” It may not be what you want to hear but it is what He wants. I am so glad that God has walked this path with me where I am at a point where I can pray that prayer putting aside what I want and instead waiting on what He wants.

  2. I have a Pastor friend who says, “Prayer doesn’t work. God does.” I love your message here . . . prayer works when our hearts are changed. Great truth here!

  3. Visiting from Thriving Thursdays! Love this. I totally agree with what you’re saying. We need to pray and be thankful always. Think about if your kids only came to you to ask for something vs. coming to you to ask for something AND thanking you for doing things for them. Prayer is not just for wants & needs.

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