What is the purpose of prayer?Are prayers effective? Will God change things if you pray? Why aren't all prayers answered?

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many people think prayers are answered only when they get what they want, as in healing or a job or some solution to a problem.  As alluded to above, prayers are answered all the time but often in ways we can't see for now or may never see.  For example, if I'm going on a trip and I pray for protection and that all my travel will be safe, and then for some reason I'm unable to get on my flight, I feel as if God has somehow let me down.  What happens next, though, is what matters.  Perhaps I meet the love of my life or a long-lost friend while waiting for the next flight; or, tragically, something happens to the flight I was on and my safety was actually provided for; or perhaps my delay has worked to my benefit somehow on the other end of the trip--a nicer hotel room or an upgraded rental car.  We have to think of prayer not as a "gimme" factory but as a communication and relationship with the Creator of the universe. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we believe in the power of prayer, than we also have to believe that there is a higher source answering prayers. Consequently, we might then consider that this higher power has a higher purpose of which we are not always aware. As a Christian, I believe in the power of prayer. I also know that answered prayer fulfills the higher purpose of my God. This being said, simply because prayers aren't answered in a way I'd imagined or in a way that I can perceive, does not mean that it is not answered.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course no one knows, right?  What they told us in Bible school and when I attended church schools was that God answers all prayers, but not in ways that we necessarily understand.  Sometimes the answer is "no," for example and that might be because what we are praying for is not really in our best interests.  Even adults can't understand things the way God can and therefore God sometimes has to say "no" because he knows best (sort of how things are with parents and little kids).

lbsumz | Student

to communicate with God. To give you a sence of peace, God hears all our prayers, sometimes they are fulfilled like how you want, if God wishes you to have this thing. if this thing is bad for you, 1)might stop something bad happening to you or 2) you'll get alot of reward for asking in heaven

monstersayroar | Student

The purpose of prayer is to communicate with god. He does hear all your prayers and answers every single one. You just might not recognise your answer. I belive that god gives you a chance to change things for yourself if you truley need it.

sparrow13 | Student

The purpose of prayer is to comunicate with God and so that he can hear out our thoughts. Also, it is to become more connected with your religion and to have a stronger faith in God. There is no solid purpose to prayer because it can have a purpose for anything you want it to be. Prayer is something unique to you and your religion and it is upto you to decide the purpose of it.