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Does Prayer Fix Things?

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This week I saw this headline. 


In our culture, there is a huge lack of understanding about prayer and God himself.

How do you approach prayer? Is it a time of trying to convince God to give you what you want? Do you try to manipulate God with your pleas, promises, and justifications? Is your goal to get him to smooth out tough situations? To make everything perfect? Do you get frustrated when he doesn’t fix things? 

Trust me. My prayer life has at times been a battle ground. The battle has been with myself and the strong temptation inside to beg and push God to give me what I want. To completely resolve some acutely painful situations. To right grievous wrongs. To explain his actions – or inaction.

What is it about God we aren’t believing? What is it about him we don’t trust? That he isn’t powerful enough? That he isn’t loving enough? That he isn’t kind enough?

Our culture begs the same questions. If there is a God, why is there evil? Since there’s evil, God must be weak and incapable. Or hateful and indifferent.

So why pray? What difference does it make?

If prayer was meaningful to Jesus, it must be meaningful for us.

Jesus, Love of my life, was known to pull away from the world to pray to God the Father. (Luke 5:16). The night before his death was no exception. He prayed in a small garden just east of the temple walls. His prayer on this night was a prayer of agony. Have you ever prayed one of those like I have? Are you praying them now for a broken world?

When Jesus prayed, God didn’t change his situation or save him from suffering. Quite the opposite.

Born during the lambing season in Bethlehem, Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God who was destined to be slain to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) God the Father presented Jesus to us as a sacrifice of atonement through his blood poured out. (Romans 3:25)

Within a day of his prayer in the garden, Jesus allowed the Angel of Death to consume him, absorbing the completeness of God’s judgment of sin on behalf of those who live hostile to God.

To Jesus’ followers, it appeared the world had fallen apart. Did they believe “God can’t fix this?”

Jesus himself was God. Yet God the Son chose to willingly submit himself to God the Father’s purposes. He recognized the importance of God the Father’s plan. 

This was the greatest desire of his heart as he prayed.

Although the world didn’t understand at first, God changed the world and fixed our hopeless situation through his obedience.

I believe Jesus received strength during times of prayer. Strength to complete his mission as he walked the earth in a human body with self-imposed limitations.

For a Christ-follower, prayer truly effects big change . . . primarily change in us. 

As we engage with God through prayer, there is sweet fellowship as we encounter God. 

Those encounters change us. He changes us.

Prayer is immensely meaningful to Christians. It is our lifeblood. It’s personal. And it’s real.

This is something the world at large does not understand.

When we close our hearts to God, we deprive ourselves of the resources God makes available to us and hinder the change he is able to make in us and subsequently, the world around us.

This is where the trouble starts.

This is the place where hatred festers, bitterness rots, and violence erupts.

This is the place where guns are aimed, triggers are pulled, and bullets explode. 

This is the place where terrorists plot evil and revel in fear.

The heart is the root. It’s where world change begins and ends. 

God is much more concerned with the condition of our hearts than the condition of our world. Our hearts are the battleground he constantly fights for. 

Cultures are positively impacted by hearts, minds, and wills melded with his. One. Unified. Surrendered. Prayerful. Connected to a supremely good Being.

There is a lack of this breed of heart in our culture today.

This is what the world fails to understand.

So the headlines will continue to scream anti-God platitudes. Gun laws will be scrutinized. Critics will assault us with their hatred and disdain. 

But we will go on believing in our very real, life-giving God.

We will continue to engage with him regularly enjoying his sweet presence.

We will worship him in wonder and awe in the depths of our hearts. 

We will continue allowing him to birth good dreams in us, and introduce new adventures.

Our hearts will remain loyal to him and him alone.

He will continue to fix our surrendered hearts, just as he’ll fix the trusting hearts of those affected by the shooting.

And our surrendered hearts will continue to be utilized by God to bring comfort, kindness, love, goodness, and hope in a dark world.

This is how God fixes things. 

How is your life bringing positive change in our culture?




  1. Kathleen says:

    Great post! Surrender is vital. “He will continue to fix our surrendered hearts, just as he’ll fix the trusting hearts of those affected by the shooting.”

  2. Hello, fellow Hope Writer! Enjoyed looking around your lovely blog. Such encouraging words throughout. Blessings on your 2016!

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