Today, is America’s National Day of Prayer, and, hopefully, millions of Americans will pause throughout the day to offer prayers to God for our great country. Will those prayers mean anything? Will God’s favor, blessing, and protection rest on us because we prayed? Will crime reduce, and will virtue increase on the heels of our best intentioned prayer efforts?
Will anything be different in our nightly news because Americans paused to pray?
OR is prayer an exercise in futility, a cosmic Hail Mary when all other hopes of provision are lost?
Does is really make a difference if people choose to pray?
Jesus certainly thought so.
If anyone could have scrimped on the discipline of prayer, it was Jesus, the uber-empowered Son of God. And yet, the Gospels reveal that Jesus prayed more than anyone else in Scripture, spending entire nights in prayer to God the Father. He also taught His followers to pray, fully expecting them to experience the incredible results of prayer.
- Prayer changes us so that we can change things.
- Prayer verbalizes our trust and reliance on God.
- Prayer acts as a pleasing “incense” that rises before God (Psalm 141:2).
- Prayer elevates our perspective to a birds-eye view.
- Prayer connects us to a rhythm of grace that we can’t find anywhere else.
- Prayer unlocks mysteries and stirs up much-needed wisdom.
- Prayer shines a light on our deepest motives and ambitions, calling us to better living and a deeper love for humanity.
- Prayer creates an entry-point for the power of God.
I don’t know if the news headlines will change after today’s prayers, but hopefully we, pray-ers, will change.
I can’t promise you an immediately quantifiable answer if you’ll pray. However, I can emphatically promise you that a praying life will lead to a changed life, and a praying nation will eventually be transformed.
Let’s never quit. Let’s remember Jesus’ words that encourage us to “always pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)