Insight for times when you wonder if your prayers are doing any good.
- Posted on Oct 8, 2012
Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. John 6:68
Those of us who have been praying for many years can relate to having so many confusing things about life and faith thrown at us that we feel like giving up on prayer. We get weary. We get dragged down by rejection. We get depressed. We suffer through bad, unjust situations in our workplaces, our homes and our communities. We struggle to understand why all of this has happened and where God could possibly be in any of this.
Is the way of suffering, sacrifice and hard labor really God’s way? We begin to feel it’s time for God to send us some sort of sign that He’s there. It wouldn’t hurt to have a miracle to prove that prayer still works. After a while we even stop praying regularly, asking ourselves, “Is it really doing any good?”
Life often brings us to a point where circumstances ask us the same question Jesus posed to His disciples, “Do you want to leave Jesus and prayer behind because of how hard this is?” It’s not an easy question to grapple with, but it can be potentially redemptive if we don’t ignore or run away from it.
The question asks us to imagine what life would be like without prayer. Where on earth could we possibly go to find the same spiritual grace as prayer? What alternative things would we be doing instead? Throwing pennies into wishing wells? Sacrificing bulls? Putting plates of food in front of statues? Drinking magic potions? The question is good because the answer is clear: Prayer is our only true lifeline, the only way to remain in fellowship with Jesus, the only way to be perfectly content because we trust in the One we are talking with Who is the Giver of Life, the One Who Feeds Us with bread that truly satisfies.
What are the alternatives to prayer? There really are none.