Do you ever wonder what happens when you pray?
Sometimes we need a reminder. You may value prayer and you may pray often, but when’s the last time you stopped to think about what is actually taking place when you pray.
Our prayers are more than just words. There is a spiritual, powerful, redemptive, indescribable, divine work that takes place when we pray.
According to God’s Word there are ten things that happen when you pray:
1. When you pray, God works.
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
This is a great place to start because our prayers, by themselves, don’t change anything. It’s God working through our prayers that makes the difference. He has the authority. Prayers are the channel we use to access his authority.
2. When you pray, God hears.
“For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:12).
Sometimes you may think God’s not listening, but he is.
The enemy knows that prayers access God’s powerful hand, so he speaks lies to get us to believe our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Don’t believe that lie.
3. When you pray, God heals.
“And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Healing takes many forms. Prayers don’t just produce physical healing, although that’s one aspect. There is also spiritual healing, emotional healing, and relational healing that occurs when we pray. Broken marriages can be healed through the power of prayer.
4. When you pray, God answers.
“And if we know that He hears us inwhatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:15).
God hears every prayer and He answers every prayer. He answers prayer one of three ways: yes, no, or not yet. Don’t be discouraged when you get a no or a not yet! God has your best interest at heart.
5. When you pray, God forgives.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
In the model prayer, Jesus shows us an example of asking for forgiveness. We have a promise from God’s Word that when we confess, He “will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” How powerful is that!
6. When you pray, God protects.
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
This is actually a prayer Jesus prays over his disciples. It’s a prayer of protection from the evil one. We should consistently ask the Lord to stand on our behalf against the evil one. He fights the battles we could never face.
7. When you pray, victory awaits.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
8. When you pray, anxiety subsides.
You simply cannot expect to be victorious over temptation outside of prayer. When you pray, you’re taking home field advantage of the spiritual warfare. You’re moving the battle from the flesh to the spirit and that’s where victory awaits!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
A friend once said, “Anxiety is thinking about the things you can’t control.” Isn’t that true! When you pray, you are taking the things you cannot control to the One who is in control. As you do, watch your anxiety begin to subside, along with his cousins “worry” and “fear.”
9. When you pray, trouble fades.
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray” (James 5:13).
I’ve heard testimonies of unbelievers who found themselves in the middle of a crisis calling out in prayer. Even without any religious background, there is a natural inclination to call out to God in troublesome times.
10. When you pray, lives change.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
The parable Jesus told was about a woman who persistently went to a judge asking for protection. The ruler did not grant her request at first.
It was only after her faithful persistence that the judge granted her request. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes lives!
What happens when you pray?
Let’s be a people of prayer, a family of prayer, a church of prayer, and a nation of prayer.