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  • The Biblical meaning of Hope is different to the world’s meaning of hope; it is a confident expectation of a favourable outcome, whereas hope in the world is “Well, I’m hoping for a good outcome, but I probably won’t see it”, or “I hope I win the lottery, but……”, etc.

    I know prayer works, and I’ve been where you are, my friend, doubting, convincing myself that it is an illusion that may have had limited effect on a persons psyche, thereby improving their health, etc. but let me share some stuff with you, if I may;

    Three weeks ago, I was at a store in my home town, 10 minutes from closing time, when I saw a man who I knew from my daughter’s school(his son is in her class). He was suffering enormous pain in his foot; he is a rugby football player, and some weeks before had had two huge players from the other team tackle him, both landing on hid right foot, tearing most of the supporting ligaments, plus doing a lot of damage to his Achilles tendon.

    He’d been off work, and spent a long time rehabilitating, but because he’d been keeping the weight off his feet, the doctors had told him to start carefully walking on it, so as to avoid it atrophying;

    Fast-forward to the store and just to let you know, this was a Sunday, so the store was about to close. This man had been in the military, and he had developed a high pain threshold, so I knew he wasn’t imagining the pain he was in, or the extent of it; “I’m sure they missed something on the x-ray, ‘cos this feels like a broken bone!”, he said, his face pale.

    I said, “Would it be alright if I pray for you?”; he looked at me for a moment, and then said, “I suppose it can’t hurt.”

    I said I’d pray on the way home, as the store was closing, and he may have felt uneasy about me praying in a public place.

    So I did pray, a very short prayer, right from my very innermost being, all the time keeping the picture of his agonised face in my mind, but in faith for God to move in his life.

    Sunday became Monday, then the week went on, and it got to Friday, and I went to the school to pick up my daughter; suddenly this man I had prayed for stood in front of me – and he was waggling his leg around and he said “Did you get the message?”

    I looked at him for a few moments (bear in mind a busy five days had gone by, plus I didn’t know what he meant by “message”(?)

    He then said, “I told to your wife this morning, I got up on MONDAY morning, swung my leg out of bed, went to put my foot on the floor, fully expecting to feel that massive pain shoot through my foot, and….there was none! It was like it had never happened; just as the pain was so real on Sunday, so the lack of pain has been so real since Monday. I can’t get my head around it!”
    he said; then, pointing his finger skywards he said, “There’s gotta be something in this, I’ve never known that to happen; what did you do?”

    “I just prayed, probably only for half a minute, and then got home, did what I needed to do and went to bed” I said(to be honest, despite my faith, I was in shock at the gravity of what had happened, and I don’t think I can ever get used to God’s amazing ways), to which he just replied, “It’s gone, the pain’s gone, I don’t know how, I don’t know why, I just…..”, his voice tailed off, still shaking his pointed finger skywards.

    I said, “You do know that God isn’t in the business of “patching you up”, He has REPLACED your ankle bones”; he looked at me and said “That’s how it feels!”

    I can also tell you that my old Boss was an Atheist until, in an attempt to half humour me- half prove me wrong in my faith, let me pray for her chronic back pain at the Christmas end-of-work party; I didn’t hear of any outcome from that until, shortly before I moved on to setting up my own business; she collared me and said, “I didn’t tell you this, because I felt just a little foolish at the time, but do you remember praying for my back to heal?” I said “Yes I think I do, although that was two years ago now, wasn’t it”, “Yes”, she said, well when you left the party, I was shuffling in my seat, and my friend said, “Aw, is your back still playing up?”, and I said, “No, that’s just it, Mark’s (not my name) prayed for healing on my back and the pain has gone, I was just shuffling in my seat trying to re-locate the pain!”. I didn’t tell you all this time because I do believe now, but I’m still angry with God for letting my grandma die, and I didn’t want to admit I was wrong about faith.”

    “Well that’s a step in the right direction,” I said, to which she looked at me with incredulity, “God can deal with your anger, but He is rejoicing that you have seen Him at last”

    She smiled and said, “I haven’t had any more back pain since”; I was ecstatic, and thanked the Father for His faithfulness to hear my prayer. Awesome God!!

    I know, this is a very long post, but I’ve seen longer, and the question did require answering thoroughly; if prayer does do physical healing, or not, maybe just coincidence,

  • Prayer is not meant to be a magical way to make things happen for you. The purpose of prayer is to calm your mind and give you a sense of inner peace. Which it does incredibly well for me. When I feel at peace, I am in the best state of mind to handle any hardship or situation. Wouldn’t you agree that if in a difficult situation, the best way to approach it is with a calm mind? We all get that way now and then, if you can find something to center yourself, I see it as an incredibly positive thing. I think there is a misunderstanding amongst many religious/non-religious alike about what prayer is for. So to answer your question, yes, prayer does work for me, very very well. I hope this helps, thanks!

  • Yes, I am living proof of that! If my mom hadn’t prayed for me I wouldn’t be alive today. I have been through a lot of crap in my life, suicide attempts, drug/alcohol overdoses, diabetic/insulin seizures, etc. My mom’s prayers have kept me alive, even though I was clinically dead for 5 min. Her prayers are what finally led me to Christ. I am now happy and drug-free, and I have her prayers and the good Lord to thank for that.

  • Outside of the fact I don’t think that God does exist, let’s say for the sake of argument that he DOES exist. Any prayer that asks God for anything is pointless.
    Anyone who believes that God is all-powerful and all-knowing can NOT simultaneously believe that prayer works. To believe so, one must believe that (a) You can affect God’s decision making, which means that (b) God is unaware of future events, which in turn suggests that (c) God is NOT all-knowing. (If he was, then obviously he would know ahead of time what his actions were going to be, so there is NO way to “change” the mind or affect the decisions of an all-knowing being.) God supposedly knows all that ever will happen eons before we were ever BORN. Why would we think that a prayer would have any effect whatsoever?

    ”A prayer for God to do something he was already going to do is unnecessary; a prayer for God to do something he was not already going to do is futile.” (Ebon Musings)

  • No it’s a placebo, but to people who believe it works it does bring comfort that there is meaning to the events in their life.

  • Prayers are “answered” in one of three ways: Yes, No, or Wait, the same as if you did not pray.

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Chairman Mao

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