Ep 205: Is prayer effective?

Does prayer ever make a difference?
David Robertson
Bible reference(s): 
Psalm 91, James 5.16
Sun 22 Aug 2021
Life stories
all loving God
all powerful God

Does prayer change anything or is it a waste of time? We explore this big question as we hear about the role prayer played in a man's near death experience. A remarkable, powerful and at times moving story.

This show was recorded in partnership with Belgrave Heights Convention.

Our guest: David Robertson (speaker and author)

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Bigger questions asked in the conversation

Smaller Questions

To kick off Bigger Questions we like ask a couple of smaller questions - we do try to have a bit of fun on the show. Today we’re talking with David Robertson about prayer. So in today’s smaller questions, David I thought we’d test you on how much you know about the effectiveness of prayer.

Reflections and objections to prayer

So surely the results are in, science has proved that prayer just doesn’t work? Is that what you make of the results of this experiment?

Did the results surprise you?

But can prayer really be measured?

If you had the powers of God - how would you make the experiment work out?

Does this mean that prayer isn’t effective? American comedian and actor W.C. Fields once said,

Prayers never bring anything... They may bring solace to the sap, the bigot, the ignorant, and the lazy - but to the enlightened it is the same as asking Santa Claus to bring you something for Xmas.

What do you make of this assessment?

Is this your experience of prayer?

Testimony - personal story of being healed by prayer

Tell us about your story - for one day you were doing a wedding but you weren’t feeling so great. So what happened next?

What was it like for your family?

Throughout the experience, what were the experience of prayer you encountered?

But can’t this just be a coincidences?

How many coincidences do there need to be for it to be an answer to prayer and not just a string of coincidences?

How much of your healing do you attribute to prayer and how much to the professional medical help you received?

The Bible’s impact: prayer

What was it about Psalm 91 that resonated with you?

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 91. verses 9 and 10

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

But that was clearly not the case was it? You were nearly dying, so how can the words, ‘no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent’ be true to you?

The New Testament book of James also speaks about the effectiveness of prayer, he speaks incidentally within the context of healing. It says in James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

What does this mean? In what way are things changed by the power of righteous person’s prayers?

Impact of experiences

Did your view of prayer change?

The Big Questions

So David, is prayer effective?

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