Can Your Prayers Make a Difference?
WHO of us has not faced a serious situation that we had no control over? The Bible shows that the apostle Paul knew that prayer can affect the outcome of such crises.
When Paul was unjustly imprisoned in Rome, he asked his fellow believers to pray for him, adding: “I exhort you more especially to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.” (Hebrews 13:18, 19) On another occasion, Paul expressed confidence that God would respond to prayers for his early release. (Philemon 22) Paul was soon freed and again took up his missionary work.
But can prayer really change the outcome of your problems? Perhaps. Remember, though, prayer is not merely a formal religious exercise. It is real communication with our loving and powerful Father in the heavens. We should feel free to be very specific in our prayers but then wait patiently to see how Jehovah responds.
God may not respond directly to every prayer, nor may he always answer in the manner or at the time that we expect. Paul, for example, prayed repeatedly about his “thorn in the flesh.” God did not remove Paul’s problem, whatever it was, but he comforted Paul with the strengthening words: “My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for my power is being made perfect in weakness.”—2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
We too can be confident that even if God does not remove a particular problem, he can “make the way out in order for [us] to be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) One day soon, God will do away with all of mankind’s suffering. In the meantime, turning to the “Hearer of prayer” can make a difference.—Psalm 65:2.