“When I pray, I feel as if God were by my side, holding my hand and guiding me when I feel lost.”—MARÍA.
“My wife died after a 13-year battle against cancer. I remember praying to God every day and feeling that he was really listening to me in my pain. I felt at peace.”—RAÚL.
“Prayer is a beautiful gift from God to humans.”—ARNE.
For María, Raúl, Arne, and many others, prayer is a unique gift. They feel that through prayer, they can talk to God, thank him, and seek his help. They wholeheartedly believe the Bible’s assurance regarding praying to God: “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that no matter what we ask according to his will, he hears us.”—1 John 5:14.
On the other hand, many people find it difficult to accept what the Bible says about prayer. Steve recounts how he felt about praying: “When I turned 17, three of my friends were killed in two separate accidents. One died in a car crash, and the other two drowned at sea.” What did Steve do? “Iprayed to God for answers as to why all that had happened, but I got no reply. So I asked myself, ‘Why pray?’” Seemingly unanswered prayers have led many to ask whether there is really any point in praying.
People also question the value of prayer for other reasons. Some say that since God knows all things, he is already aware of our needs or our problems, so there is little point in telling him about them.
Others believe that God actually refuses to listen to their prayers because of mistakes they have made in the past. “My biggest problem,” says Jenny, “is that I feel so worthless. I’ve done things that I regret, so I convince myself that I don’t deserve to be heard by God.”
How do you feel about praying? If you have ever had similar concerns or doubts about prayer, you can take comfort from the fact that the Bible can offer satisfying answers. The Bible is an authority on the subject of prayer; * it can help you find answers to such questions as:
Does God really hear our prayers?
Why are some prayers not answered?
How can you pray and be heard?
What can prayers do for you?
^ par. 9 The Bible contains the prayers of many of God’s servants, including those of Jesus Christ. The Hebrew Scriptures, commonly called the Old Testament, contain well over 150 prayers.