Do My Prayers Even Matter?

Does prayer really change anything? Though my head screams “YES!”, I’m convicted that my heart has been saying no. For months now I’ve allowed my heart to believe the lie that prayer won’t make a difference. It’s not that I’ve thought God isn’t powerful enough to meet my requests. I’ve doubted that He would want to. Even after meditating on Psalm 23, which tells me that God is my GOOD Shepherd who makes my cup overflow, I’ve continued to doubt whether my prayers really make a difference. This week in particular I didn’t believe that asking God to send me a like-minded soul friend in a similar stage of life would truly reap any results.

I’m forever grateful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Without it I could have continued on without truly “making my requests made known unto God.” Imagine the blessings I would have missed and the unnecessary weight I would have carried. Thankfully, God loves us where we are and doesn’t let us stay there. He convicted me this week, and I am asking Him to help me eradicate the lie I’ve been believing with the truth of His Word.

Satan tells me the lie that my prayers don’t change anything. Scripture gives me countless examples of exactly the opposite. Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18. Originally, God was going to wipe out the entire city for its wickedness, even if there were many righteous people there. However, Abraham stood before God and asked Him to spare the city if He could find only ten righteous people there. Abraham’s prayer changed things.

Jonah was in the belly of the fish when He cried out to God for mercy. God could have let the fish devour Jonah for his disobedience, but Jonah repented and cried out to God. Jonah said, “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help and you listened to my cry” (Jonah 2:2). God really does listen!

During the first days of the church, Peter “got down on his knees and prayed” for Tabitha and God raised her from the dead! (Acts 9:36-43). If God brings a dead woman back to life because of prayer, He can certainly answer my requests when I pray.

Jesus himself told a parable of a widow who kept making her plea to an unjust judge. He finally granted her plea for justice, because of her persistence. Following this parable Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.” (Luke 18:7-8)

I strongly believe that when Satan whispers lies to us we have to replace those lies with the truth of God’s Word. It’s the only way to pull the lie out at the root and allow something fresh to grow. So, I’ll close with the two scriptures I’m using to replace the lie that my prayers won’t change anything. If you’ve ever struggled with believing this lie, I pray these truths will be a blessing to you.

“”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:7-11 NASB

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

James 5:16 NASB