How Do I Know that Prayer Works?
Okay. I've about had it with a certain circular conversation. It goes something like this:
Them: I just hate thing X about my life, and I feel absolutely powerless to change it. Nothing works.
Me: What have you tried so far?
T: Complaining, talking to a friend, coming to see you.
M: What does your spiritual practice look like around this issue?
T: Oh, well, I just basically walk around in a spiritual energy all the time.
M: So, do you spend any time in specific dedicated spiritual practice?
T: Not really, no. I don't see the point. I'm a spiritual being all the time and I don't need a special time or state to prove that.
M: So you haven't prayed about this issue?
M: Why not?
T: I don't really see why it would work. I don't really believe God answers my prayers.
M: What makes you fee that way?
T: I don't have any evidence. What evidence can you show me that prayer changes anything?
M: My personal evidence is that changes that I experience after I pray.
T: Yeah, I don't have any of that.
M: Why do you suppose that is?
T: Because prayer doesn't work.
M: You mean, the prayer that you aren't doing?
T: Why would I do it if it doesn't work?
M: You do realize you have to actually pray to see any changes, right? Or to know if anything changes through prayer?
T: I just don't really think God answers my prayers...
And the cycle begins again.
Y'all, I love you. I really really really love you. I love you enough to say this outright -- prayer can only work for you if you use it. Maybe you doubt it -- that's cool. Maybe you think there's only a 5% chance that it could work... But the one way to make absolutely sure it doesn't work is to never pray. I mean, if nothing you've tried is working, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?! If it doesn't work because prayer doesn't affect things, we know one thing -- it can't make anything worse. (You know, because it will be true that it doesn't affect things..) But if there's a chance it could work, don't you owe it to yourself to try?
How do I know that prayer works? Because I use it. I've prayed over and over, probably thousands of prayers. I've watched my life change. I can't really explain it, because the Divine is a mystery, but I know that prayer has changed my life. I have evidence because I put in the investigative work. I prayed.