~Do Our Prayers Make a Difference?~
Do our prayers make a difference? That depends upon what is meant by “makes a difference”. There are prayers of intercession in which we pray for God to intercede on our behalf or someone else’s behalf. People pray for healing, to get a job and to win the lottery. All of these are prayers of intercession.
There are prayers of thanksgiving in which we give thanks for something we feel God has done in our life. Sometimes these are prayers of appreciation for what other people have done and who they are to us. Some people give thanks for their family, some for their food and some for making a touchdown.
The prayers I experience to make a difference tend to be the prayers of being: simply practicing being in the presence of God. This kind of prayer changes me. Sometimes it is through praying a scripture passage. Other times it is singing a song. And still others it is practicing prayer in a group of people.
I think one of the best reasons to pray is for how it shapes us as people of faith. It is a spiritual practice meant to exercise our muscles of grace, forgiveness, hope, humility and love. It is not asking for anything; it is putting aside distraction and opening up to God, the master potter, who lovingly helps us find our shape as faithful followers of Christ.