Does prayer work?


#1

Hello everyone

Recently I was looking into studies into prayer to see if they worked. However I found out that according to one study of intercessory prayer that there was no significant benefits. HOWEVER, I remember going on the God and Science website and there was another intercessory prayer study with results and it did show changes, but unlike the other study, the prayers were not handed out and the people in the hospital did not know at all that they were being prayed on. So now i’m stuck if prayer truly works or not. Do you have any experiences with prayer, not just healing but other good experiences? Thanks for your responses.


#2

Yes I have prayed for many things such as healing,safety, and common things. Prayer Is not like a magic. It is conversation with God. Many people use it to ask for things and rightly so but prayer is more than that.
If you ask for something in prayer God will answer you but it may not be what you want. He’ll answer with a yes, no, or wait.


#3

Yes, it’s been my experience that prayer does “work”. Besides how could it not work when Jesus said it would? it’s not in the words, it’s in the belief.


#4

Yes, yes, yes!!! It works! I’ve had many experiences where it has worked; I think the thing you have to watch out for is this: Not all of your prayers will be answered, or they may be answered in a way different from what you intended. If we got everything we prayed for, the will of God and his plan for humanity wouldn’t matter.

Here are just a few of the times that I saw my prayers answered:

  1. I was having a REALLY hard time coming up with a topic for my college application essay. I prayed to God asking for some guidance on what to write about. After I was done praying, I got up, saw a certain item in my room, and it gave me a great idea that got me into my #1 college choice!

  2. I consistently prayed for my mom to grow in the faith. A couple months later she was invited to be a religious Ed teacher at our church, which has helped her faith immensely.

  3. My dad was going on a trip and I was afraid for his safety (my mom had been in a car accident not too long before, so I was temporarily afraid of travel). As he left it was raining and I had tears in my eyes. I prayed to God to protect him, and a rainbow came out right at that instant!

  4. I lost my driver’s license and prayed to St. Anthony for help in finding it. (He’s the patron saint of lost things.) A couple minutes after I was done praying, I found it!

Hope this resonse helped! God bless!!!


#5

Yes prayer works!! I have in fact had a lot of benefit from prayer, sometimes I’m moved so powerfully and really feel His presence that an hour long prayer session flies by!! It’s hard to adequately explain what that feels like.

But I’m afraid you might be looking at this from the wrong perspective. Prayer is not something provable in a laboratory. Anymore than asking your father to help you out with something is provable like that.

Prayer is essentially a relationship. A relationship with our creator. God is not a vending machine or a genie that grants my wishes as long as I do it right. That’s why those types of experiments prove nothing either way. He wants us to come to Him for our needs, yes, but what we think we need usually ends up not being what is truly best for us. So it’s not surprising if not every prayer is granted in exactly the way we expect.

But more than our needs, He wants us to get to know him, to really love Him. He wants to transform us, and that’s what prayer ultimately does, it takes us out of ourselves, and focuses on the Only Good in the entire universe, God. That’s when prayer really starts to change us, when we start loving Him because of who He is, not what he’s done or can do for us.

That’s why I really dislike those prayer experiments, they trivialize God and prayer. It’s rather insulting to God. It’d be like having a bunch of scientists telling me my relationship with my dad must either be horrible or fake because he doesn’t give me everything I ask for exactly how I want it. Uhhh no. Love isn’t like that.

Those scientific experiments are starting with faulty assumptions about God and prayer, don’t look to them for whether or not prayer works. Just try and pray yourself and see what happens, even just for five minutes a day. You give God an inch He’ll make it into a mile.:thumbsup:

I recommend a book by Peter Kreeft called Prayer for Beginners. It’s a good introduction. Also try An Introduction to the Devout Live by Francis De Sales. That book changed the way I pray. Especially the meditations in the first part, if you do those sincerely, I guarantee you’ll see the entire world with a new pair of eyes!


#6

Prayer doesn’t “work” by always giving you what you ask for, rather, as you pray, you become conformed to God’s will, and in the process you learn to ask for what He wills for you. Or to put it in other words, prayer changes you from the inside, not necessarily (although sometimes it can) your external circumstances.


#7

If prayer is the listening of the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, yes, I can assure you that it works!


#8

I’m a firm beliver in prayer. Talking to God, does’nt get any better then that.:thumbsup:

God bless

jesus g


#9

The problem is, I find these studies somewhat problematic. First off, we are told multiple times from the Bible that we are not to test God, and I can think of no clearer example of attempting to do so than testing prayer. Also, assuming the people praying were compliant with the studies, it seems that they may have been half-genuinely praying of the person, but they would also be praying for results, which seems to be an abuse of prayer. People can make test about prayer all they want, but if the theology of the particular religion they might be testing would cause some road-bumps, so to speak, I am not sure how much the data can be trusted.


closed #10

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