I Don’t Expect Prayer To Work

Lots of people have been praying for me.

These are decent, sincere, kind-hearted people.

I mean no disrespect…

…but that won’t prevent disrespect from taking place.

To be completely transparent…

…and at the risk of destroying any “Christian Cred” I have built-up…

…I don’t expect prayer to work.

“*GASP* That is a disgraceful lack of faith!”


I have a lot of trust in my faithlessness.

I don’t doubt God can handle the request.

I doubt I’ll pray for the right things.

Prayer is like sending a letter to your Congressman.

Do you think your Congressman is going to read your letter?

Be honest!

You know your letter is going to be opened by a staff member.

And your request will be ignored because it’s probably stupid.

You requested public funds so you could install a swimming pool or…

…requested a key to the Congressional washroom or…

…requested you be allowed to annex a city or…

…requested free snow cones for life or…


The point is, you want your Congressman to act according to your specific wishes.

Now, imagine getting a phone call from your Congressman.

That would freak you out, wouldn’t it?

Be honest!

You didn’t really expect your letter would get a response.

The Congressman tells you he’s gotta deny your request because it’s technically illegal to use tax money to buy snow cones.

Same thing with prayer.

Except God actually does call you.

He just doesn’t use the phone.

God speaks directly to your conscience and reminds you that He is in charge.

And that’s why I don’t expect prayer to work.

I’ve already told God that He will need to shoulder the responsibility of my life’s most important decisions.

When I pray for something specific…

…I’m almost certain it’ll be the wrong thing.

I expect my conscience will ring and God will tell me why my request is denied.

Is that pessimistic?


I’ll have to pray about that.

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Expect Prayer To Work

  1. Mike says:

    That is pessimistic for sure and I think it is unbiblical. Jesus tells His disciples to make their requests known to the Father in Jesus name and it will be done for them. Later from John we learn that those prayers must be in God’s will, but that is not the point. Jesus says make your requests. Paul tells us to make our requests known to God. It is up to God to answer and ultimately do what is best but you should always ask, that is part of prayer. It certainly isn’t the totality of our prayer life but God is our Father, who loves us, we should always feel comfortable taking our needs to Him. I know I want my kids to bring their needs to me because I love them and want to help. How much more does God feel that way in His perfect love?

  2. I agree and disagree. I agree that God often does not give us what we ask for, and that we are inclined, in foolishness, to ask for things that are not good for us. I disagree with characterizing that as “not working”. Prayer is not an exercise in futility because we’re never wise enough, it is an exercise in humbly asking, seeking, knocking – syncing up with what God is doing precisely because sufficient wisdom is only found in Him.

  3. If prayer is only defined as asking for something you hope to receive, then I agree with your point. I think prayer is more about a conversation with a Person though, not just a request service. If all I ever did was ask my Dad for stuff, it wouldn’t be much of a relationship.

  4. A.Bazil says:

    I’m with you in that I am confused and astonished by our ability & direction to pray. On one hand there’s the ask, seek, knock promise with the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our intercessor to God the Father. On the other hand who am I that I may approach the thrown of God? Of course my prayers are going to be at least somewhat skewed by ignorance & sin nature.

    How does God (in all His majesty, holiness & splendor) answer or allow us (the polar opposite) to be part of His Purpose through our prayer? When we look at Moses & Aaron for example many times they fell on their face before God in intercession for the people of Israel and we’re told that God changed His mind. Wait. What?

    The unfailing, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, righteous and eternal God changed His mind!? I don’t understand it but we are called to pray. Jesus taught us how to pray and text like James 5:10 speak to the effects. Please understand I’m not talking about the name it and claim it garbage. Nor do I believe in the burden inducing teaching that faith, prayer, holiness, works, etc & lack there of are the reason a prayer is or isn’t answered the way we would hope. Fortunately we serve a loving & sovereign God

  5. sklyjd says:

    This is exactly how it is for me. I often hope for something to happen and occasionally one of them does. Of course, not all of my hopes and wishes are fulfilled but then you have to consider the natural law of averages, influences by relevant events and the unknown quantity of good and bad luck to also kick in to eventually form the final result. In my opinion you do not need to pray.

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