Your prayers have an impact
By Rick Warren
— September 27, 2010
"God hears us whenever we ask Him and we know also that He gives us what we ask from Him." 1 John 5:15 (GNT)
Prayer can do whatever God can do. His resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, "Ask."
Do you ever wonder if prayer really works? You're praying about something and Satan whispers to you, "This is a waste of time. Forget it! Who do you think you are? What do you think you're doing? God is not listening. Don't waste your time."
Prayer works because God is in control. The basis of all miracles is God's sovereignty. Why does He do one and not another? Because God is in control. We have to trust His wisdom and His goodness.
Ephesians 3:20 says, "God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes."(LB)
Prayer can do whatever God can do. His resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, "Ask." It's encouraging to know that things that are out of my control are not out of God's. I may not be able to change a situation but I can pray and God can change it.
I know exactly what some of you are thinking right now. "If I can pray and ask God to change things and if God is really in control of everything, why don't I get everything I pray for?" Good question. Here are three reasons:
1) God is not a genie. You don't put in a prayer, rub a thing and get whatever you want. If every prayer were answered we'd be spoiled brats. Do you give your children everything they ask for? I hope not. You know what's best for them. You can see the bigger picture. If you can see the bigger picture for your kids, how much bigger is the picture God can see?
2) Sometimes Christians pray in conflict. You get two Christians praying at the Super Bowl for different teams. Who's God going to answer? Obviously, God can't answer every prayer at the same time.
But I think the real reason is this:
3) God knows what's best and you don't. If you think you do, that is very presumptuous. First John 5:14 tells us, "We are sure that He (God) hears us if we ask Him for anything that's according to His will."(GNT) Look at the phrase "according to His will." The attitude of your prayer needs to be: "Lord, this is my prayer request, but Thy will be done." That's what Jesus prayed, "Lord if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless let Thy will..." (Luke 22:42).