Does Praying Matter?

Did you ever wonder if praying actually makes a difference?  What about when it “doesn’t work”?  Or what about if God already knows what will happen?  Should we still bother? Our reactions to these questions will really depend on what and how we think about prayer.  

If we think that prayer is a mechanism by which we negotiate some sort of favorable outcome with our God, we would be sorely mistaken and misguided. Such a transactional mentality is what will keep us from really embracing prayer for what it is: an opportunity to communicate and be in a personal relationship with the one true God.  

Kings on this side of eternity are hard to pin down.  Someone interested in doing so typically has to seek an audience.  By contrast, our heavenly King is always accessible and lovingly welcomes us into His presence.  Like being still, not only is praying something we should do, but it is also a biblical imperative:

Pray without ceasing. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12

Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

1 Peter 5:7 

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.   

Luke 18:1

Just google “pray without ceasing” and see how many other references come up in scripture! 

But doesn’t God already know everything about me?  Of course…but He wants you to go to Him and tell Him what’s on your mind.  Your struggles. Your triumphs.  All of it! 

But doesn’t God already know what will happen?  Yup.  He also wants His children to take a posture of humility and come to Him when they need help with something.  Sometimes it’s more about the submission than it is about the prayer itself.  

But does He hear me even when it doesn’t feel like it or when He is so busy with everyone else’s prayers?  You betchya!  Our omniscient God hears every prayer we lay before His throne.  Sometimes it’s more about cultivating patience in us than it is about answering the prayer itself.  

Friends, time spent in the presence of the Lord is NEVER wasted.  He gives us exactly what we need. He undoubtedly provides what we would also ask for if we already knew what he knows.  He loves us far too much to bend to our every inclination.  Do you give your children everything they ask for at the time they ask for it? 

Communicating with God is NEVER a waste of time, and we can communicate with Him for so many other reasons than when we need something from Him.  When we pray…

  • If we experience a perspective shift, that is time well spent.
  • If we discern a bit more of what God would have us do with our lives, that is time well spent. 
  • If we surrender more today than we did yesterday, that is time well spent. 
  • If we ask for or receive forgiveness, that is time well spent. 
  • If we give thanks for anything, no matter how trivial, that is time well spent.
  • If we cast our fears upon the Lord, that is time well spent.  
  • If we humble ourselves in response to God’s almighty power, that is time well spent.  
  • If we recognize something within us that needs refining, that is time well spent. 
  • If we shout out to the Lord in frustration and anger, that is time well spent. 
  • If we get to know Him, even slightly more intimately, that is time well spent.  
  • If a temptation was kept at bay for just one more day, that is time well spent.
  • If someone’s life is changed, that is time well spent.
  • If someone’s eternity is redirected, that is time well spent. 
  • If we simply rest in the presence of our God, that is time well spent, indeed.

Praying always matters and is never a waste of time!


Father God,  THANK YOU for the gift of prayer and for giving me a way to communicate with you at any time.  I’m ashamed to admit that I often take unfettered access to you for granted.  Please allow your spirit to work within me so that YOU are the first turn I take when I’m elated or anxious, sorrowed or blessed.  I want to start and end my days in communication with you and incorporate prayer into all aspects of my life.  Allow prayer to become a part of my day’s rhythm.  

In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name,


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