Prayer is weird. Perhaps, in a restaurant, you have seen a group of people bowing their hands in relative silence while a person mumbled a few words and you wondered what they were doing. If you are familiar with the praying act, you possibly think: “well that is dumb.” Secretly many Christians believe that as well. Christians struggle to pray. We wrestle with the cynicism of unbelief – “God’s not really going to heal so-and-so. He doesn’t do that anymore.” We think we are so far lost and without hope that God cannot deliver us from our addictions: drinking, drugs, sex, or pornography. Our prayers tend to be little more than polite platitudes: “God you are good. Thank you for this day and food. Amen.”
There are two ways of looking at all this mess. Either prayer does not really do anything, or, the problem is with us. God tells us again and again in his word that prayer does do something, and that all we need is to have a little faith. Faith with regards to prayer means that God will work his will, that God will heal if he pleases, and that God will deliver us from our sins, temptations, and addictions. But how God will do all the above, will surprise us. He will not do it in ways that we plan, expect, or want. God wants us to depend on him, and if he is predictable, then how would we learn to depend upon him.
All of this challenges us. Are we going to believe that God is going to do something or not? Perhaps he already has, and we’re too dense to recognize it. If you’ve been praying for deliverance out of sin and temptation, then use the people of God around you. If you have been praying for opportunities to witness, then invite your neighbors and friends and simply hang out together with a few of God’s family. Prayer, is many things, but one thing prayer is, is a reminder to the way that things really are.