I don’t believe in the power of prayer. The reason why…because of God’s lack of answer to prayer. In all honesty, God really does not answer prayer in the way it’s promised in the Bible. The Bible claims that God cares for you and me and wants to answer our prayers.
Matthew 21:22 plainly states
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
But this does not seem to be true. Millions of Christians have believed that God has the power to save and heal, have begged God to do so, and he has not done it. Babies have died, beloved parents and relatives have wasted unto death, while God ignores the prayers of those who have asked him to heal those whom they love.
I know many will object that maybe God had a different idea, or maybe we just didn’t believe enough. But I think, that deep down, even the most earnest Christian does not really believe in prayer as described in the Bible. They might think God will tip the scales a little more in their favor, maybe send a specialist doctor to save the day. But most have asked God to heal cancers, only to see the cancer prevail. Lord knows I’ve pleaded for babies that still went to the grave and left their parents in dismal grief, despite my many prayers.
Most Christians have lived long enough to know that prayer will not save the day…it may bring a little relief, kind of like meditation or silent centering, but it will not result in God’s miraculous intervention in the Biblical sense.
Where the Rubber Hits the Road
We’ve all heard of the Christian parents that withhold life saving medical treatment for their children. They trust God will heal, so they pray, wait, and watch as their children die or are seriously sickened from a condition that could have been prevented by human intervention. Instead, they obey the Bible’s teaching to seek God for all their needs. And in the end, many end up at a graveside, a court room, and some will even see the inside of a jail cell.
Because they took the Bible at it’s word about prayer.
But most Christians see this as extreme and would never do this to their children. When the rubber hits the road, we say a prayer, but we pay a visit to the doctor.
Worst Case Scenario
Imagine an even more agonizing situation.
Imagine you are a middle aged mom whose elementary schooler has not returned home on time. After ten minutes past the normal time your child arrives home, you wander next door to confirm that the bus is late. When the neighbor’s child answers the door, you begin to worry.
Your neighbor confirms that the bus arrived on time, but your child was not seen exiting the bus. A quick call to the school sends you into a panic. Your child was not seen at school all day. In fact, the voice mail you ignored this morning was your child’s school calling to confirm that your child was sick and at home.
You slump to the floor sobbing as your neighbor dials 911….
Pausing this imaginary nightmare, ask your self this question. Do you believe in the power of prayer to locate your child safely?
In other words, would you just call the prayer chain at church and trust God that he would lead you to your child? What if the detective at the police station said they weren’t going to send out a description of your child, instead the officers were going to pray and wait on God to lead them to your child…would you really be ok with that response?
Of course you wouldn’t…you would be doing everything in your power to bring your child home again. You would want to know that every stone in the county was being turned over in search of your child. You would talk to anyone willing to listen and get the word out that something more precious than gold is lost and needs to be found.
This scenario reveals that when it matters most, prayer does little to no good when facing real world problems. It doesn’t heal children who are sick. It doesn’t save relatives that are dying. It doesn’t bring children home who have been kidnapped or run away.
In short, prayer has no real power to change reality.