Is There Power in Prayer?

Prayers in the wind

Prayers in the wind (Photo credit: marco83)

I have Writing Wednesdays (when I remember – seems to be turning into Writing Thursdays of late, so I may have to rethink this), Recipe Saturdays, and now: Spiritual Sundays.

I am a constant seeker. I have found some answers but I still have questions. I imagine even those most educated in the religious/spiritual realm have questions—though their questions are probably more complex than mine.

One thing I am sure of is the power of prayer. I find though that it works better for me when I pray for others than when I pray for myself, but I believe that is just my impatient nature shining through.

I am reading what I consider a bit of an unsophisticated look at spirituality right now, but in its simplicity, it is honest. The book, “Divine Intervention” is written by SQuire Bushnell, the creator of the “God Winks phenomenon” (he has written four books on the subject). He is an ex-ABC television executive, and known as “America’s Encourager”. His calling, (among others) is to “rediscover the deep meaning and impact of personal prayer”.

I just discovered SQuire but apparently he has been writing books for well over a decade. {I have never been accused of being cutting edge and on top of things, so this is just another example.} As I read his book, I cannot help but think about my “God wink” moments or his way of describing coincidences which are not happenstance but meant to be–moments that determine the path our lives take.  He gives example upon example of “God winks” in his book, but I am really more interested in his definition of prayer.

He says that he has tried to find a euphemism for prayer—another word that is not so “unnerving” in our “hypersensitive” society. But he says that there is not one—he cannot conjure another word for Prayer. He says that prayer is a “concept integral to every faith and probably every language.”

Do you believe in the power of prayer? Do you consider it talking to God? Or is it just something those who have some type of belief use to kid themselves into thinking they are not alone? Does prayer work for you? Does it give you bliss?

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  1. Being an agnostic, I am a believer in fate and destiny but not god and prayer so much, though wishing is fun :)

    Cheers
    CCU

  2. I believe in the power of prayer LouAnn! Absolutely! xo

  3. I certainly believe in the power of prayer…My most meaningful is when I forget the ‘formalities’ of it and just speak from my heart what I’m feeling and then praying ….mostly for others as there is so much need, and then when I’m praying for myself it’s usually for wisdom, direction and the desire to trust God in the interim as I wait on Him for answers. And He does answer….I have experienced wonderful answers..not always in my timing or the way I imagined but …answers!…Diane

    • Yes, I am impatient, but my prayers do get answered
      — but I agree with you that when we speak from the heart it is the most valuable way to communicate

  4. I believe in the power of prayer.Prayer offers peace, guidance and a sense of “being”.

    • I love this – peace, guidance and a sense of being–all needed attributes

      • And I love that you offered this rumination this morning LouAnn It was a welcome moment with hands warming on my coffee mug

      • It just feels more like Sunday when you take things spiritual into account

  5. My faith in something more powerful than myself and is enriched by prayer But what is prayer?
    My beliefs are mufti-faith and I incorporate a lot or prayerful rituals into my observance and practice of that faith, Is it religious? No. Is it spiritual? Yes. Is it prayerful? Yes.
    From walking on a sunny morning and worshiping the sun, to taking a personal inventory, or my lighting a prayer candle in the evening at dusk, I pray.
    Sometimes praying is the only control a person has over a given situation, I am grateful I can

    You have the most thought provoking posts, I just love them!

    • “praying is the only control a person has over a given situation”–I want a pillow with that embroidered on it — truly wise

  6. I most definitely pray. I pray, believing it’s a one way conversation with God, or my Heavenly Father. I pour out my heart, ask for blessings for people I know who are struggling and express my gratitude for all of my many blessings. I believe he listens. I think when we “phone home” it pleases him, like it would any father whose child is away from home. I think it’s an exercise in faith. I’m like you Lou Ann, when I pray for myself, making requests, as it were, I feel like those are SLOW in coming. I’m impatient. Haha! I’ve also fallen asleep while I’m praying. This is probably why it’s good to get on your knees- we’re less likely of drifting off! Although, I hate to admit I don’t do this as often as I should. I’ve also thought that praying in the morning might be a better idea. It makes more sense to me. Of course you can pray at all hours of the day and the connection is always the same. :)
    I’ve been the recipient of an outpouring of prayers recently and I can honestly say that I felt lifted up in every way. I FELT the prayers. What a humbling experience that is.
    I love this Spiritual Sunday idea. I think we need to exercise faith and think beyond this mortal existence – it’s good for the soul. :)
    Have a beautiful day, my friend!!
    Lisa

    • what a lovely and thoughtful reply — I agree that praying in the morning when we are wide awake would be wise, but it is at night many times that we seek comfort

  7. I just wanted to add that I often ask God if he will make His will known to me. Lately I feel like a rudderless boat. If I knew what the plan was, at least I could have something to shoot for. Haha! So far, His will remains a mystery. LOL!

    • I approach prayer that way too — and am waiting for the answer–but I am sure we will get it

  8. I definitely believe in something greater than myself and have conversations always with that power and find it inspirational and encouraging. Yes, I firmly believe that collectively prayers and positive energy do shift the negative.

    • I so believe that collective prayer and prayer circles do so much good–and those prayers are answered

  9. A wonderful, thoughtful thing to think about especially on a Sunday morning. Many years ago I would have been in church at this very moment, had I not had my differences with the Catholic church. Yet while I am doubtful about the power of religion, I remain passionate about the power of prayer, which includes merely talking with God. Prayer helps me find answers, helps me meditate on my blessings, gives me hope.

    • I too,no longer belong to “organized” religion but that does not stop my beliefs–I like that you use prayer as a time to meditate on your blessings……….

  10. Prayer is something that I have gone away from in my adult years. I was brought up in the church, but now I lean more towards being an agnostic. I may come back to it later in life, I don’t know. I like that it gives people comfort – I’m just missing the necessary faith element right now.

    • I went through a long period like that — it is all under the umbrella of “seeking” to me. I too was brought up in the church, but no longer attend

  11. I do believe in the power or prayer.

  12. Most definitely I believe in prayer. Every thought is a prayer, in my opinion.

    • very interesting observation — I think you may be right–though some of the thoughts I have had are not worthy of prayer

  13. I do believe in the power of prayer – I believe it can bring peace even when the situation is not resolved as we may want. I never believed in fate because that means no matter what I do that end destiny will happen. So as an example why take care of my health if the end result will not change? I do believe prayer connects us with God. I am the same as you, there are questions that really do not have any answers. Will healing happen regardless if I pray for someone? Or is the prayer more for us and the peace we need in our life. Yes, many questions..

    • but if peace is the outcome of prayer then it is more than worth it–I do not believe in fate either

      • I would agree. I think we are all looking for some form of peace in our life. :)

  14. Lou Ann, we do a spiritual Sunday every week. I grew up going to church and though I don’t attend church, I have a deep faith — it seems to be getting stronger — as I practice meditation/prayer daily. Hubby and I — sometimes before he goes to work — or after, depending on his schedule do our “spiritual thing” on this day. We are also meditating/praying/stillness every day — at least 15 minutes and it does something for you. I call the omnipotent God because that’s how I grew up but I don’t think it matters what you call — “that which is there but we can’t comprehend” in our physical form. Prayer works I believe. Each time I do, I feel more at peace and I’ve always said if you have peace, you really do have everything.

    I don’t think our prayers are always answered the way we want but I also believe there is a reason for that. That’s where faith comes in — the not knowing, but the knowing that all will be as it should be.

    “Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”

    Thank you for this, Lou Ann — what a great idea for Sundays! And to answer your question — I do believe in the power of prayer — it is talking to God, it works for me and it does bring bliss…and peace.

    • what a wonderful comment — hope everyone reads it–you added much to my post

  15. Prayer is powerful, and like Diane I find when I pray simply and from the heart, my prayers are heard.

  16. For me, prayer is attention. I believe in the power of attention combined with awareness. I don’t necessarily believe the answer to prayer is what our thoughts/ego wants to hear. But our deepest self benefits from prayer every moment…

    • I like the way you look at prayer — with depth — but I would expect nothing less from you

  17. I certainly believe that thinking positively brings positive things back to us. There is a lot of power out there, and no matter what religion we are, it’s really important to know that something, somewhere is listening when we pray ;)

  18. I believe in the power of positive thinking and self-affirmation. Is that prayer?

    • I think so, but hey, I am no expert — as so many have commented, if it gives you peace then it is your form of prayer

  19. I believe in it. I just hope that it’s not a false hope though.

  20. I share my worries and not once have they never been brought to closure and relief. I remain astonished.

  21. What an interesting concept, “God winks.” I do truly believe that everything happens for a reason though and while I don’t exactly identify with a single organized religion, I do believe in something bigger than us that helps guide us along our paths. For me, I’m a little ambivalent towards the idea of prayer since I’ve seen too many people who use it as an excuse to be lazy (i.e. “only God can help me and only God can improve me as a person. I can’t do anything as an individual.”) I tend to think that as long as I do the best I can and then put faith in the idea that things will turn out the way they should in the end (perhaps my form of prayer?) without overly relying on some higher power, they will.
    I hope my feelings toward prayer aren’t offensive to you since that wasn’t my intention. Thanks for sparking such interesting conversation!

    • offensive – not at all — I think that we are expected to the best we can and not use prayer as a crutch–but as a way to understand

  22. For me, prayer is thanking, not asking. I dislike public displays of prayer as they always remind me of the Publican and the Sinner from the Bible. The Publican stands out where all can see him, reminding God what a great man he’s become in comparison to others. The Sinner remains in the shadows, thanking God for showing him the way and hoping to do better. A prayer can be any expression of gratitude for the world around us ~ a beautiful morning, happy birds at the feeder, a friend to count on, a relative you care for, a pet who never waivers in loving you. Just making your list is a prayer in itself. The mother of an old friend once said, “You ARE a church inside.” What an easy way to conduct our lives!

    • what a lovely comment — with much food for thought to add to the discussion – thanks Mary

  23. To me, prayer is a conversation focusing on others … thus not self … well, unless the self part is about reflection. Good post LouAnn, and many great comments to read and ponder.

    • I agree with you about prayer – though I do find myself being a bit selfish sometimes

  24. I don’t know that I necessarily pray, but I can’t help but acknowledge how meaningful it is to those who do (or feel they must). We all need coping mechanisms and mechanisms for hope. Whether that’s prayer or something else doesn’t matter, what matters is that we all find something that gives us comfort.

    • I so agree with you — when we find something of value that gives comfort–then we are golden

  25. Wonderful discussion and comments generated from your post.

  26. yes to all of the above…I also believe we have to listen for the answers to our prayers because the answer may not be quite what we expected. God’s ways are not our ways and they are definitely better! God has always answered my prayers by never leaving me and walking with me to get through whatever circumstance I find myself in and in helping me to find the answer.


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