Prayer Q & A

Q : "Why pray, if God already knows all about me and my needs?"

A : He wants us to get to know Him. The purpose of prayer is to enable us to come into His presence, where we are changed. It frees His hand to do more in our lives and in the lives of those for whom we pray. Someone has said, "God rules the world through the prayers of His people." Christ actually meant prayer to be the great power by which His church should do its work.

Prayer doesn't change God, prayer changes us. It is not to tell God what He already knows; it is to venture into His presence so He can help us understand what He already sees.

Q : "What about faith? Don't some people just naturally have more faith than others?"

A : George Mueller, a great Christian leader of the last century, provided housing, clothing, food, and education for tens of thousands of British orphans, though he himself was poor. It was not his original plan to build orphanages; he was simply looking for a way to demonstrate that God answers prayer. Over his lifetime the Lord provided millions of dollars, though Mueller never once asked anyone for money. He was sometimes told that he had a special gift-that faith must be given as a gift from God because of his work. He explained that faith is given to everyone, but that faith grows with exercise. Testing is the perfect climate for faith to grow.

Q : "Is Prayer Always Practical? Can Its Outcome Be Measured?"

A : Prayer is a practical experience. Someone has said that "When we work, we work, but when we pray, God works!" In the great controversy between good and evil, God has chosen to be responsive to the prayers of His people. The record is clear: when God's people pray the sun is stopped in its tracks, walls fall down, sinners become saints, enemies are put to flight, families are brought together, worries are put under His banner of healing. How's that for measurable?



Prayer--The real secret:

In the Morning

"Each morning consecrate yourselves and your children to God for that day. One brief day is given you. As if it were your last on earth, work during its hours for the Master. Lay all your plans before God, to be carried out or given up, as His providence shall indicate." Ellen G White, Counsels for the Church, 152.6


Some have said that the real key to prayer-to knowing God and getting His answers-is learned from Christ in Mark 11:24. He said, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." The first word to note here is desire, and this is the key. If you don't really, really "desire," you probably will never get an answer to that prayer.


Because praying is the most important thing we do, and because praying is strenuous, some often rest for just a few minutes before they pray so that they can be at their best for their most meaningful work. God gives fantastic answers. Praying is exciting and meaningful when you do it the way Christ taught.