Prayer is the fragile act that builds our faith, but if we are not careful, can also crush a fragile or weak faith. Why is it that prayer can build us or break us? It depends on the why behind our prayer. We sometimes wrongly believe that the best outcome is always reliant upon God answering our prayers the way we want. This just isn't true. Our prayers matter to God, yes, but whether He answers them the way we want them answered or not, He gets to decide the outcome.
In Acts 12, we see the believers pulling an all-nighter to pray for their brother in Christ, Peter, who was being held in jail and facing a trial the following day. These new believers always gathered to pray. We see it time and again in the early church. So did the early believers pray only after the death of James by King Herod Agrippa I? Or had they prayed for protection, and James still died? The answer: It doesn't matter either way.
Whether we get the answer we want or don't, it doesn't mean that God doesn't hear our prayers. Our prayers draw us close to the Father. He is the one who provides what we need with the response He gives. To give up praying means to give up hope, and life with Jesus is all about hope. Something we see as tragedy could mean salvation for others. A miracle for some can become a miracle for many. Prayer is a constant conversation with the one who holds the world and all of creation. What a gift this is! This gift encourages us and strengthens us, regardless of the outcome of the answers.
Listen to more about prayer in Episode 24 of The Depot Podcast with Erin Olson, Never Stop Praying and Believing God Will Move by clicking here.
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