Prayers that don’t work
“My prayers returned to me unanswered.” Ps 35:13 NIV
Misdirected prayers. Some folks turn the blessing at mealtime into a public airing of their frustrations. Others bounce their prayers off God, hoping to hit the person across the table—the one they’re trying to win to Christ. Don’t do that. God gets enough bad press without you adding to it! Jesus said, “When you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production” (Mt 6:5 MSG). Judgmental prayers. In one church a childless couple was praying for a baby. The prayer group arbitrarily decided the husband wasn’t “godly” enough to be a father, so they spent their time asking God to change him. If God gave children only to perfect parents, the human race would be extinct! The Bible says, “We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy” (Da 9:18 NLT). Quorum-based prayers. You think there’s a better chance of getting your prayers answered if you involve a lot of people, like having a quorum at a business meeting. With God, what matters is the faith with which you pray, not the number of people. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mk 11:24 NIV). Now, when you face a situation that’s too big to handle alone, it’s wise to reach for someone who really knows God and can pray in agreement with you. “If two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:19 NIV). Which raises the question: Do you have prayer partners you can call on? Are you a prayer partner for someone else?