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“I’m just afraid I might lose my job because of all the budget cuts. Not to mention just yesterday there were layoffs.”

“I’m sorry you’re worried. I’ll pray for you, okay?” I said.

“Okay.” Bailey replied.

For a brief moment there was silence on the phone. I then laughed in a bit of a sinister tone and mumbled “As if prayer actually does anything.”

My friend Bailey and I had a good chuckle at my comment.  He knew very well that I was a Christian and prayer was common place in my home and I did indeed believe it “did something.” But that little joke got me thinking.

God certainly doesn’t have the raw end the prayer deal. As Christians, if we pray for something and get what we want, the next time we’re in church, we stand up and give a praise report telling the entire congregation how God answered our prayer. But if we pray for something, let’s say like, to not get laid off at our jobs, and then we do, we praise God because He must have something better planned for us. That’s not a bad deal for God, right? Either way, He ends up being the Good Guy.

Regardless of whether we do or don’t get our prayers answered the way we’d like for them to, we can always chalk it up to “God knows best.” So, if my friend Bailey gets laid off and gets hired at another job, then God had blessed him with this new career. But now if Bailey finds himself on the street in a few years, still no job, and unemployed, then God is teaching him about humility, or how He always takes care of our basic needs no matter what or something else we just “don’t understand”.

Again, so we’re clear. I believe in the power prayer. I cast my fears onto Him, and I truly believe He hears me, cares for me individually, and intervenes when it’s best for Him to do so on my behalf. And I know I’m only the clay, so how dare I question the potter, but sometimes, on the days where doubt creeps in, I can’t help but feel that this just seems all too convenient.

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3 Comments

  • Dave VT

    Dave VT February 04, 2011

    Prayer doesn’t change God, change God’s mind, or change God’s plan.  It changes you.

    “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.”
    C.S. Lewis

  • Jessica

    Jessica February 04, 2011

    So do you believe that God doesn’t intervene based on prayer?  He certainly did for some Bible characters, right?

  • Tony York

    Tony York February 06, 2011

    My imperfect example:

    As a parent, I have had children who were 2 or 3 years old at one point. I also have had a cookie jar on the counter.  I knew that my 3 year old was going to want a cookie when their eyes fell on the cookie jar.  But I didn’t just give them the cookie because their eyes fell on the cookie jar… I wanted them to ask for it.  But I knew my answer was going to be based on the context of the situation (was it close to dinner time or was it mid afternoon.. had she been good or bad). 

    They weren’t surprising me with the question for a cookie and I already had a plan for how I would answer.  In either way I answered, I could explain to my child why she was or wasn’t getting a cookie.

    I know it is imperfect but it is something that helps me better relate to the supplication aspect of prayer.

    Prayer can and is much more than just that one aspect.

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