Slightly Obsessed #091: Does Prayer Work?

The prayer of the upright is His delight.

– Proverbs 15:8


It’s with you day and night.

It’s always there for you if you are in trouble or just need to talk. It’s as close as your fingertips and you never go anywhere without it.

I love my cell phone, too.

How did we make it all those years before communication was this easy? So many of life’s daily problems could have been easily solved, if only we’d had the ability to call others while on the move.

Decades ago, there was more than one time that I had to accept a ride with a stranger or had my flat tire changed by someone I didn’t know. Then there was the time my daughter had to sit and cry on our front steps after getting off the school bus, because I had no way of letting her know I’d been held up at the doctor’s office and would be home soon.

There were all those nights my husband drove home in bad weather from a construction job while I spent hours worrying if he was okay or not.

All it would have taken was a quick call or text to ask a favor, send assurance, or get help quickly.

Technology has created instant communication with others. But I know if I send a text or email to someone, I may not get the response I want or need. And I know it isn’t the fault of the phone if the person on the other end doesn’t answer or tells me something I don’t want to hear.

I love getting messages and calls from people I care about. Often, it’s just a quick text; other times it’s a long talk. Sometimes I need to just send along some information. At times I need to hear the voice of someone I miss desperately.

This is communication. It’s not magic.

Neither is prayer.

Prayer is a message we send to heaven. God doesn’t need satellites or phone lines to receive our prayers. But in much the same way as these, our thoughts and voices reach the heart of God. Sure, He hears those long, involved lists of needs. But He also hears our silent groans and sees our tears in the night.

Prayer is not a formula for getting the ear of God. Prayer “works,” because its only job is communication.

Through it, we can talk to our Father in heaven; our heartaches, fears, joys, and needs instantly transported to the most powerful person in the universe.

According to Proverbs, God is delighted with the prayers of His children. I know it delights me when one of my kids call me. God loves to hear from us in the same way. He may or may not answer our prayers in the way we want. After all, He chooses what’s best for us. But whether He says, “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait,” He is filled with joy when we talk to Him.

This holiday season, you should talk to your mom. And your dad. And your Father. They’ll be delighted to hear from you.


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