Does prayer work

Does Prayer Work?

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by The Unbounded Thinker

The question, Does Prayer Work? has been asked by many people today. People are wondering whether committing to a prayerful life is a fruitless or fruitful activity. What many people don’t know is that this question only arose in the modern world.

Ancient societies across the world never doubted the efficacy of prayer; they firmly believed it worked because they believed an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent Higher Power existed and responded to their requests.

If you could have asked ancient society members the question, Does Prayer Work?, they could have thought you were insane because, to them, God was their father who helped them in times of distress. Ancient cultures took prayers so seriously that they had prescribed times for prayers and developed elaborate rituals and ceremonies surrounding their prayers.

It was impossible to convince ancient society members that prayer does not work, and anyone who tried to do so was stigmatized, punished, and even exiled.

Considering that many ancient societies, that lived miles away and never met, took prayers seriously, is it sensible to argue that prayer does not work?

Some people could argue that ancient societies believed prayer worked because they were primitive and superstitious. They forget that ancient societies were more spiritually mature than us since they understood miraculous phenomena such as magic, astral projection, divination, and shapeshifting. They also ignore the fact that modern society borrowed from ancient societies spiritual practices, such as meditation and yoga, which science has proven their efficacy.

Yes, ancient people could have been primitive but their in-depth understanding of spiritual phenomena demonstrated remarkable intuitive intelligence. It is, therefore, wrong to claim that their belief in the efficacy of prayer was founded on superstitious beliefs. These people took prayer seriously because they knew it worked. How could they have prayed for thousands of years if prayer did not work for them? It’s an obvious fact that they prayed because their prayers were effective to some extent.

What then has changed today? Why do most of us doubt the efficacy of prayer?

Many people today doubt prayer because they expect their prayers to be answered instantly and all the time. They pray for a car and when they don’t get it they conclude that prayer does not work. They pray for an ill person and when this person dies despite praying they believe prayer is useless.

What many do not know is that God is not a Genie or a controllable spiritual entity that grants their wishes when summoned. People who pray to Genies receive answers to their prayers quickly and all the time because they offer them sacrifices.

God needs nothing in exchange for answered prayer because God is everything. Moreover, unlike Genies, God cannot be controlled. ‘He’ does what ‘he’ wants to do at ‘his’ own time because after all, ‘he’ can decide to either answer your prayer or not and there is nothing you can do about it.

Anyway, going back to the question, Does Prayer Work? Many studies show that prayer has positive physical effects. It increases pain tolerance, improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the symptoms of cancer and arthritis.

Emerging research also suggests that prayer promotes mental health by calming the nervous system, reducing anxiety and depression, fostering optimism, making life meaningful, reducing feelings of isolation and fear, and increasing mindfulness.

Many people agree that prayer has positive psychological and physical effects. The question Does Prayer Work? is mainly concerned with the impact of prayer on external events. People who ask this question want to know whether you can pray for external factors such as money, a good spouse, a car, and so on, and receive answers.

My experience with praying for external events makes me believe that prayer works. Some of my prayers have been answered immediately, while for others, it took a long time to receive a response. I didn’t have to do anything or pray in a certain manner for these prayers to be answered.  I received answers irrespective of whether I prayed for something good or bad, or whether I uttered my prayers aloud or in silence. This made me realize that there is no specific formula for answered prayer. You can receive answers to your prayers regardless of how you pray.

Although some of my prayers were answered, there were moments of silence, where my pleas seemed to go unheard. Nevertheless, such experiences did not make me doubt the power of prayer. They just made me realize that not all prayers are answered because God is neither my servant nor my Genie.

In summary, the answer to the big question, Does Prayer Work? is “Yes, prayer works, but not always.” Sometimes prayer influences or changes events/things outside of ourselves, but sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes your prayers might get answered but sometimes they might not for reasons we can never understand. People who give reasons for unanswered prayers base their answers on assumptions.

We just have to accept that prayer does not always work but we have to realize that concluding that prayer is useless because we didn’t receive answers to some of our prayers is foolish. Many people have received answers to their prayers.

For this reason, always pray when you need something, especially if it’s beyond your control. You never know, maybe your prayer might be answered. But if it is not answered, suck it up, and realize that God has the right to ignore some of your prayers because God is not a Genie.

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