When Christians say prayer works…the reaction from other people is somewhat surprising. One reason people stay away from Christianity is not because they don’t know any Christians.
It’s often because they do.
Our actions and our words as followers of Jesus have the power to attract or repel people from Christianity.
The number of people who never go to church or follow Jesus keeps growing. And their thinking keeps changing too (I’ve outlined 15 characteristics of unchurched people here).
So what can we do about it?
Well, in addition to modeling humility, grace, truth, love and so many other things that describe the earliest Christ followers, we Christians can watch our words.
This post was originally inspired by a piece by Scott Dannemiller, in which Dannemiller urged Christians to stop saying “feeling blessed” whenever something good came their way. He makes a thoughtful, insightful argument around that.
Besides “prayer works,” here are two other things Christians should really stop saying.
1. Prayer works
Should we really stop saying that prayer works?
Well, yes and no.
Most people who say prayer works these days really mean God did what I wanted him to do. As if prayer was a button to be pushed to release exactly what they wanted from the vending machine.
Prayer is not a button to be pushed; it’s a relationship to be pursued.
Prayer works; but it works very differently than we’d like. It still ‘works’:
When we can’t trace out any direct result from our prayer.