Any who has ever bothered to crack open a Bible – collection of Christian scriptures – would find tons of contradictory verses which in fact remain in constant conflict with way the faith is practiced by the people who profess it.
The concept of prayer is one of many practices that seem to mock a lot of of these scriptures – which are laid down rule to be followed strictly by anyone who choses to the path.
Christians pray for so many reason- including but not limited to asking from God whatever their heart desires are- and to be fair to them, the Bible does command so.
but does prayer really work? Or is it just another time wasting exercise?
If you are familiar with church services, you’d like to conclude it does work given that people do share what they like to refer to as testimonies (of what results their prayers have yielded), but a critical look at what the Bible says in relations to prayer and the man who receives them – God – will leave you concluding the latter.
what does the Bible say about God and Prayer.
First, God according to the Bible.
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 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” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
“From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Psalm 33:13-15).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
“God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34)
Take note of the above verses; they talk about God being Omniscient, just and loving.
Now Prayer according to the Bible:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24)”
“pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear” Isaiah 65:24
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” John 15:16
“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”John 14:14
Take note of the above verses; they all talk about prayer and its efficacy.
There are other verses of the Bible that talk about prayer as means of mediation -which is completely not harmful – but when seen as a means of solving problems, that where the problem lies.
Prayers sometimes slow down progress. imagine spending time to pray for someone when you could use that time in providing the actual help needed.
Say for instance, an accident victim requires urgent medical attention, not prayers. when you spend time praying, you are slowing down the process of getting an actual help which is medical attention.
But the bible does sanction prayers and that where the problem is. Some many pray believing answers will come; that’s why most people will prefer to pray than actually “do something”.
Hemant Mehta once said: “When it comes down to it, prayer is illogical, even in religious terms. If God has a plan, why try to thwart it? If God can be swayed by prayers, what kind of God would allow the horrors we see in the world?”
I quite agree with him. You cannot make a case for God being Omniscient (see Isaiah 46:9-10 from the quotes above) and still pray to him for something when he already knew you would be needing that and had promised to provide.
maybe he needs a reminder; what do i know.
Why even letting you fall into trouble in the first place if you can make the case of him being a loving God (John 3:16)?
As a just God (Acts 10:34) when devout believers pray for the same thing, how does God choose the winner?
Imagine two believers of equal faith seeking the same job position, both have prayed as commanded, who does God hand the Job to without being partial? Remember he must not be partial.
What about football teams, how does God choose winners?
I like think that people know full well prayer is a waste of time but when out of ideas as most people are frequently, something has to fill in so one can think they have some control over a situation that may be out of their hands.
In conclusion, prayer is indeed a waste of time, it’s the last resort of people who have run out of ideas, and the first resort of people who never bothered to think about how they could actually fix the problem at hand.
Do you agree? drop your comments below.