If God sometimes says "no" to our prayers, then why bother to pray? I admit I have a hard time trying to figure out when to pray and when to just keep quiet -- although if something looks hopeless, I really don't see any reason to pray about it.


One reason we pray is because God has commanded us to pray — and we ought to take that command very seriously. We may not know what the outcome will be — but we don’t need to know. All we need to do is obey His command to pray. The Bible says, “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

And this includes praying even about seemingly hopeless situations! After all, God is all-powerful, and He is able to do far, far more than we can even imagine. Why, then, should we limit Him by refusing to pray about something that seems impossible to us? The Bible reminds us that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power” (Ephesians 3:20).

Does this mean God always answers our prayers in the way we wish He would, or the way we think He should? No, He doesn’t — and sometimes this is hard for us to accept or understand. But remember: We see only part of the picture, while God sees the whole. He knows what is best for us, and He can be trusted to do what is right, even if we can’t understand.

Prayer is a great privilege — and it is possible only because Jesus Christ tore down the barriers between us and God when He died on the cross for our sins. He did this because God loves us — and because He loves us, we know He hears us when we pray.