What Does Prayer Do?

Apr 23, 2014
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I've been hearing a lot of people asking others to pray for them lately and I know this sounds bad, but what does prayer do? I never figured it out so I just assumed prayer was meant to help the believer mentally or something because God already knows everything, so it's not like you need to pray for him to hear you. And he has a perfect plan and knows the future, so it's not like your prayer is going to change his plan? Idk, it's just hard for me to genuinely pray for people sometimes because of this. I usually just say something like "Dear God, please help this person if it is your will, Amen". It feels pointless praying half the time though because I know God is going to carry out his will anyways and that everything he does is good...
 
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Feb 2, 2014
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Proverbs 15:8 (KJV)
The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight.

Sure God knows everything, but He wants your fellowship. Prayer to a Christian is like breath to your lungs. I grew up with a sticky note my father put on the bathroom mirror: Prayer Changes Things

What something changed, fellowship with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)
Pray without ceasing.

What if you never talked with your spouse? Would you have even gotten married? Or ever have a close friend?
 

Glomung

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"Pray" literally means "ask". So you are essentially asking God for a favor.
God's responses to prayers are usually one of the following Yes, No, or Not now.

He knows your needs but will most certainly ignore them if you don't show Him the decency of asking.

You are supposed to have a relationship with Him. Treat Him like a friend and He will be a friend, but by all
means show Him due respect, after all He is God.
 
Feb 5, 2013
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It's ironic but I literally just prayed that God would help me understand why I need to pray.
When you do not know how to pray, Holy Spirit will pray in spirit for you.. That is what is written in James.. Leaving office, so no time to post the actual scripture
 
Feb 5, 2013
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I've been hearing a lot of people asking others to pray for them lately and I know this sounds bad, but what does prayer do? I never figured it out so I just assumed prayer was meant to help the believer mentally or something because God already knows everything, so it's not like you need to pray for him to hear you. And he has a perfect plan and knows the future, so it's not like your prayer is going to change his plan? Idk, it's just hard for me to genuinely pray for people sometimes because of this. I usually just say something like "Dear God, please help this person if it is your will, Amen". It feels pointless praying half the time though because I know God is going to carry out his will anyways and that everything he does is good...
Such a great topic! I believe prayer brings a change in the person's heart more than change in circumstance. Through prayer, God molds the person for the circumstance He has placed him or her in.. Often we try to take prayer as a means of simply putting our petitions to Lord.. When we approach prayer with an open heart, we would see amazing transformations in us..
 
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Jun 1, 2014
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Great post, GiL! I've often wondered about this myself. My prayers are usually like, "God, you know what on my heart soooo...." I've also had a hard time grasping the concept but I'm working on it.

Additionally, it feels like folks are always asking God for things. I generally say what I would like but then pray that God's will be done for the best interest of all involved, regardless of whether or not I understand the reasons behind it at the current time. I also like to talk to God to thank Him for things, rather than ask Him for things. Is this also praying or is praying only asking?

I dunno, I just feel like a lot of people pray as if God is some sort of genie in a bottle here to grant wishes.
 
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Dec 8, 2013
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When you do not know how to pray, Holy Spirit will pray in spirit for you.. That is what is written in James.. Leaving office, so no time to post the actual scripture
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭26‬ NLT)
Not sure if this is the scripture you were referring to but it came to mind.
 
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Dec 8, 2013
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I've been hearing a lot of people asking others to pray for them lately and I know this sounds bad, but what does prayer do? I never figured it out so I just assumed prayer was meant to help the believer mentally or something because God already knows everything, so it's not like you need to pray for him to hear you. And he has a perfect plan and knows the future, so it's not like your prayer is going to change his plan? Idk, it's just hard for me to genuinely pray for people sometimes because of this. I usually just say something like "Dear God, please help this person if it is your will, Amen". It feels pointless praying half the time though because I know God is going to carry out his will anyways and that everything he does is good...
http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Prayers/The_Lord_s_Prayer_1/the_lord_s_prayer_1.html
I found this to be incredibly helpful to me.
 
Apr 23, 2014
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Such a great topic! I believe prayer brings a change in the person's heart more than change in circumstance. Through prayer, God molds the person for the circumstance He has placed him or her in.. Often we try to take prayer as a means of simply putting our petitions to Lord.. When we approach prayer with an open heart, we would see amazing transformations in us..
Thank you for your answer, I think you may be right :)
I believe it would be impossible to ask God for forgiveness without prayer.
I usually don't pray to God for forgiveness because I know when Jesus sacrificed himself that I got God's forgiveness from him, not from me asking. I'm reminded of the story of the lost son. The son thought that he would have to live as a slave under his father after leaving him, but the father accepted him right back into the family because the love the father had was so much more than the son could comprehend. Even though I personally don't even feel like I can comprehend God's love, I trust him when he said my sins are forgiven.
Great post, GiL! I've often wondered about this myself. My prayers are usually like, "God, you know what on my heart soooo...." I've also had a hard time grasping the concept but I'm working on it.

Additionally, it feels like folks are always asking God for things. I generally say what I would like but then pray that God's will be done for the best interest of all involved, regardless of whether or not I understand the reasons behind it at the current time. I also like to talk to God to thank Him for things, rather than ask Him for things. Is this also praying or is praying only asking?

I dunno, I just feel like a lot of people pray as if God is some sort of genie in a bottle here to grant wishes.
A lot of my prayers are just like that too

Some people may have the wrong intentions while praying, idk though. I know God is capable of anything so i'm not sure if I'm putting him in a box.

I agree, i'd rather have God's will than mine even if in the present time I don't understand.

When I pray I love to list things i'm grateful for because I feel like it helps draw me out of the complaining attitude I know I have.
 
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Barnabas

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Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Notice, "heal me", "let me get that great job", nor anything of the like is in this prayer. The prayer is about us becoming more righteous. And, "daily bread", subsistence, is the only material or comfort prayed for. There are many examples of prayers in the Bible, and none of them treat God like Santa Clause.
 
Such a great topic! I believe prayer brings a change in the person's heart more than change in circumstance. Through prayer, God molds the person for the circumstance He has placed him or her in.. Often we try to take prayer as a means of simply putting our petitions to Lord.. When we approach prayer with an open heart, we would see amazing transformations in us..
Yes, I agree, it is a great topic. I also agree that prayer brings a change in the person's heart more than change in the circumstance.

If we examine how Jesus taught his disciples to pray, it appears it would go along with your belief. The Lord's prayer is a great prototype for prayer, and what it does, and what it is for.

Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name. - I like that word hallow. To me its saying holy, or sacred is the name of the Father, and we should first give him praise, and recognize his awesomeness in our prayer.

Your kingdom come, your will be done. - I think this part goes along with what Rav was saying. Of course no matter what, Gods Will, will be done, and his kingdom will come. But I think saying this, helps us to recognize it, and humbles as at the same time.

Give us today our daily bread. - Again, I think this is a humbling thing to ask, and is about our hearts being changed. Give us our daily bread, give us wisdom, so that we are not relying on our own but His. Plus the fact that it says daily to me means this is an ongoing process.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. - It's one thing to ask for forgiveness, but it says forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. To me it's referring to the heart again. We should be forgiving others if we expect God to forgive us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. - I think this is saying, "Lord, don't let me be led into a situation where I am tempted to shoot someone in their face that is breaking into my home, but deliver me from the evil people in this world that would force me to do so." ;)
 
Apr 23, 2014
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While we're on the subject, how do you guys feel about the "for thine is the kingdom, power, and glory" addition. I don't quite understand it. Something like it was added in but not in the original texts? I know Catholics seem to omit it while Protestants tend to include it.