Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
I remember counseling a 16-year-old boy about a problem he was having. I asked if he had prayed about it, and he nonchalantly answered, “I haven’t prayed in three years.” When I asked him why, he replied, “Because God is going to do what he’s going to do whether I pray or not.”
He had a point. God says in Isaiah 46:10, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” So why bother to pray?
Because God promises that our prayers make a difference. James 5:16 tells us: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The Bible tells us about times when prayer had a direct impact on things. For example, God told a man named Hezekiah that it was time for him to die. Hezekiah prayed for God to spare his life and God healed him and gave him 15 more years to live (2 Kings:20).
But wait. That just doesn’t make sense. How can the God who plans and controls the future tell us that our prayers affect what he does and what happens? I have no clue. But that’s ok. All I need to know is that I can trust God. And if he tells me that my prayers make a difference, then I know they make a difference.
So, pray boldly, even if you can’t fully understand how your prayers synch with God’s sovereign will. Pray boldly, not because you fully understand how prayer works, but because you are fully convinced in Jesus Christ that God loves you.
Lord, I am amazed that you give me the privilege to pray and promise that my prayers make a difference. Help me to be confident that you will hear and answer when I pray. Amen.
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