Does Prayer Make a Difference?


Have you ever wondered what prayer is all about? Not just that it’s important, but why it is, or how it changes us? Why might God wish us to do it? Why did Jesus do it? I have.

In my Christian education class at church on Sunday, we’ve been going through the book by Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does it Make a DifferenceI recommend it highly. It discusses the questions many of us have wrestled with regarding prayer. Such as, “If God knows everything, what is the purpose of asking him?” or “What is happening when it seems like God is silent, and my prayers seem to just be  hitting the ceiling?” or “What should I pray to God? What is off limits? Is it for him that I pray, for me, or both of us?” Yancey goes through plenty of tough prayer-related subjects honestly, without pat answers.

If you’ve read this book, what did you like, or what didn’t you like?

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What have been the most helpful thing or things you’ve learned about prayer? What books have helped you? Please, leave a comment or lesson you’ve learned here.

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3 responses to “Does Prayer Make a Difference?

  1. The only book on prayer I have ever read was from Larry Dossey, Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might get It.

    I found it a very interesting book which helped explain why we should be more careful with our prayers, and what we ask for. I found Dossey to be a very visual writer in a couple of places, and generally good at explaining his well thought out thoughts on prayer. Well worth the read, imo.

  2. St. John’s “Dark Night of the Soul” defines prayer for me. My spiritual director helped me conceive prayer as raw material left for God to do with what he pleases. Oddly, Richard Foster’s chapter in “Celebration” helps me very little. I say “oddly” because I am a big fan of that book.

    • lisacolondelay

      That’s fascinating. Foster has brilliant things to say, but I wonder if your personality is a better fit with John of the Cross, and perhaps that is why your feel a better connection there. I like the definition from your spiritual director. This particular one gives us the liberty to present anything to God, to clear our hearts honestly before him, with the good and the bad inside, and allow him to work. Maybe then “Celebration” can happen. I think for many of us, the process isn’t so straight forward or clean cut. The messiness of it is ongoing, with bits of celebration once in a while, but mostly with a varied spectrum of positive and negative feelings among it all. Thanks for the excellent comment, Doug.