Daily Devotional for Wednesday September 27, 2006
A Recent Study of Heart Surgery Patients Concludes that Prayer Doesn't Work
(1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalms 91:15; Isaiah 65:24)
I almost have to laugh sometimes at how ignorant man can be. I'm really not sure whether I am more amazed at the folly of those who put this study together, or the fact they spent TWO MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to do it. They should have called me. Not only would that $2.4 million been used to reach millions of people worldwide every day for a year with prayer, they could have seen first hand over that time the fact PRAYER DOES WORK!
In a recent article for a news-wire service, our techs backtracked over the past 84 months of Liveprayer and figured out that we have answered over 60 million prayer requests since we started. We currently have an archive of praise reports that is now at over 2 million. However, it is not numbers that tell me prayer works, it is TRANSFORMED LIVES!!!
The greatest proof of the power of prayer is in the very real lives of those God has touched. I have praise reports from people who had diseased bodies and are now completely healthy. I have praise reports from people who were given only months to live . . . years ago! I have praise reports from people who were in bondage to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and any other addiction you can name that were delivered and now live their lives in freedom. I have praise reports from couples who were just hours from being divorced and had their marriages restored.
THE FACT IS THERE IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION OTHER THAN GOD! GOD IS STILL A GOD OF MIRACLES, AND IT IS ONLY GOD WHO CAN COMPLETELY TRANSFORM A HUMAN LIFE!!!
That is why I share with you often, that the greatest witness you have to your lost family members, friends, co-workers, or someone you are just sharing your faith with is your life! They can argue issues in the Bible, the existence of God, who Jesus is, and anything else they want. The one thing they can't refute is what God has done in YOUR life! You are a living testimony of God's transforming power. Your life is the proof that all God says and promises in His Word are true!
Listen, it is not worth this precious time to get into all the details of the study but the bottom line is that it was flawed from the start. Man is a fool to think he can put God in a box and try to study Him like he does a lab rat. Those who were involved with this study clearly have no clue what prayer is. Prayer is our communication with God our Creator. We pray because God tells us to in His Word. We pray out of our dependence upon God. We pray in faith believing God for our needs. We pray knowing that God is the only answer. Prayer is not like rubbing a magic lamp with a genie inside and having our wishes granted.
You can't try to measure prayer based on whether your prayers were answered the way YOU wanted them answered. The fatal flaw of this study was failing to recognize that one way God answers prayer is with NO! No is just as much an answer as YES or WAIT. As we mature in the Lord, we see more of our prayers answered, because we evolve from simply praying for what we want exactly the way we want it, to praying for our needs and asking God to meet our needs the way He wants to. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we realize His plan is better than our plan, and we seek the Lord's will above our own will.
Last year I was in the ICU at a local hospital praying for a young man who had been accidentally shot. He was in a coma, and the doctors had little hope he would recover. I laid my hands on that young man, prayed the prayer of faith over his body and believed God that he would be healed, raised up out of that hospital bed and made whole.
As I was leaving the ICU waiting room a man called out my name. He watched the TV program often and asked if I would pray for his daughter who had overdosed on drugs and had little chance of living through the night. I went back into that ICU, I laid my hands on that girl's body, prayed the prayer of faith over her for God to clean out her system, reverse the damage of the drugs, and make her whole.
Two days after praying for that young man, I got the call that the Lord had taken him home. Today, after nearly a year since this took place, that young girl has fully recovered and has turned her life completely over to the Lord. I prayed over both of these young people. I poured out my faith in praying for God to heal them both. I left ICU that day knowing that I had done all God asked me to do, and now it was in His hands. It was God's will and God's plan for that young man's journey through this life to be over, and for this young woman to continue on. The fact is, God answered BOTH of those prayers, even though they both weren't the answer I had desired.
I love you and care about you so much. The reason I felt the need to address this today is because of the incredible amount of press this flawed study has generated. Obviously, those in the world who deny God, reject His Son, and live in rebellion to the Bible will CLING to studies like this, no matter how flawed they are, to help justify their sad choice. They find a false peace in anything that questions the existence of God and His Word, or that faith in Jesus is man's only hope for redemption. Studies like this simply give sinful men contentment in living their life in rebellion to God and the Bible.
The only way anyone could conclude prayer does not work is to not understand what prayer is. Based on the conclusion of this study, it is apparent they expected every heart surgery patient who was prayed for to be healed. In trying to scientifically measure the human effect of prayer, they forgot the most important component of prayer . . . God! The fact is God does answer . . . 100% of the time. The only way prayer doesn't work is when you don't pray!!!