Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Does Prayer Work?

This is from Elisabeth Elliott... thought provoking stuff!!

"The answer to that depends on one's definition of work. It is necessary to know what a thing is for in order to judge whether it works. It would be senseless, for example, to say that if a screwdriver fails to drive nails into a board it doesn't "work." A screwdriver works very well for driving screws. Often we expect to arrange things according to our whims by praying about them, and when the arrangement fails to materialize we conclude that prayer doesn't work. God wants our willing cooperation in the bringing in of his kingdom. If "Thy kingdom come" is an honest prayer, we will seek to ask for whatever contributes to that end. What, after all is said and done, do you want above all? Is it "Thy will be done"? If so, leave it to Him.

Is it "My will be done"? Don't waste your time and God's by praying. Have it your way."


Maureen said...

I think it's such a concrete truth that it can be scary. When Brad was in the hospital we KNEW that God COULD heal him, but weren't sure that he WOULD heal him. So we mostly prayed for peace and strength.

I also think that that's why I'm apprehensive about Sam going into the Army...I'm scared of the outcome. But a friend recently comforted me with the truth that if Sam was going to be going 'Home', he would be taken here, at school, or in Iraq....doesn't really matter.

Jeano said...

That's why I liked this "devotional" from Elisabeth Elliott. I understand less and less the older I get, and prayer is one of those "things" I understand less and less.
Have you ever read the "Mitford" books? In those books, Father Tim often prays "the prayer that never fails" ("thy will be done"). I'm thinking that's pretty much best all the time.
We will certainly pray for Sam and for God's peace and strength for each day!!

Maureen said...

I guess I need to look into those books, they sound interesting. And I agree with you on 'understanding less' as I get older. Tho prayer has always been a bit confusing for me. I remember having a prayer chart with the kids and then trying to explain when things didn't go quite as we had prayed.

During Brads hospital stay Bob Sommerville told me (in response to my could/would statement) to pray for the best ...and then pray to accept the worst.

I guess the most important thing is simply the conversation.

Jeano said...

Maureen, you are right. I think THAT is the key... the relationship with God. Some people "claim" all kinds of things in prayer. I don't know about that. There are some things that I've prayed for and been glad that God didn't give them to me (in retrospect).
Yes, the relationship with Him is the key.

Jeano said...

oh... you said conversation... oops. But I guess "relationship" fits too.