When I was growing up, my mother and I moved quite often, but wherever we lived, one thing never changed. In each home, she hung a plaque near the door with these words inscribed on it: “Prayer changes things.” I know she believed this, because she spent a lot of time talking with the Lord.
Upon hearing our petitions, God is certain to respond if what we ask is in His will (1 John 5:14-15). When we pray that His will be done, our heart begins to value what He values, putting us in sync with the Spirit. If we earnestly desire His best for our life, He will respond to our prayers in a more beautiful way than we could have ever imagined ourselves.
A primary purpose of prayer is to discover the Lord’s will for our lives. As we seek His way, He works in our hearts and minds to guide us with His Word and develop our understanding of the situation. Then our eyes will be opened to His point of view so we can pray according to His will. And when we pray for His will to be done in His timing, we’ll be amazed at what He can accomplish.
Prayer is a powerful tool by which God acts in this world. What is truly amazing is that He has given us the privilege of participating in His work by simply talking to Him. It’s not that we change anything through prayer, but He has chosen to bring about change in conjunction with our requests. In ourselves, we have no ability to save unbelievers, heal the sick, or overcome evil, but we can pray and watch God mightily intervene in our lives, homes, churches, and world.