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Summary: Prayer is a powerful connection with God, but there are reasons why prayer sometimes doesn’t work the way we expect.

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Even if you don’t believe in God, and you pray--things happen. One person used to be criticized for believing in answered prayer...People called it coincidence. He said, "I don’t care what you call it. When I pray--coincidences happen. When I don’t pray, they don’t happen. I’ll keep praying for coincidences then." That’s what science is revealing more and more. Prayer does affect things.

Article in Medical field about prayer. God M.D.

ILLUS: Dr. Dale Matthews from Georgetown Medical Center in Wash D.C. "I can say, as a physician and scientist...that, scientifically, prayer is good for you. The medical effects of faith on health are not a matter of faith, but of science."

Ex.. One scientific report of 400 patients--coronary care unit. at SF General Hospital. Tracked over a 10 month period. 192 (almost half) patients were entered into an intercessory prayer group (they had people praying for them and didn’t know it).

Those who were prayed for had less heart failure during recovery, had less pneumonia, and cardiopulmonary arrests.

Ex..700 patients at a Veterans Hospital. One group received lengthy visits and prayer from Chaplains. The other, very little contact. The extra time the chaplains gave cost hospital about $100/patient. However, discharge rate was much higher, and had a healthier recovery. It actually saved the hospital $4000 per case.

Several more examples--these two give you a taste of the current studies being done on prayer and healing. I could give you similar cases in terms of addictions, finances, and family, and jobs opening up.

Harvard has been studying the connection between prayer and healing for some time now, and have reached some conclusions that praying is more than simply a placebo or an emotional activity. There are qualitative and scientific results that take place when people pray.

However, let’s be realistic for a minute. Prayer does not give 100% returns like we expect. While most patients do better, some don’t. Sometimes people pray for a job, a relationship, an addiction, a stressful situation, and we don’t get the results we hoped.

5 reasons why some of our prayers don’t work.

1. Our motives are wrong. Not praying to God, we’re talking to ourselves.

ILLUS: Praying for a job offer that came through. Husband tells his wife, I really need to pray this thing over. You go upstairs and pack. Motive not God’s wisdom, but self-talk.

ILLUS: Missionaries to prayed, Lord send us anywhere in the world and we’ll go. Just don’t send us to South America. Where did they end up? South America. Only then do they have trust in God.

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so you may spend what you get on your own pleasures." James 4:3.

2. Unrealistic

ILLUS: Little boy prayed "God if you can find a way to put the vitamins in candy and ice cream instead of spinach and cod liver oil, I’d sure appreciate it."

ILLUS: 2 kids running to school. race

ILLUS: If we eat double cheeseburgers and junk food our entire life and then ask God to help keep our cholestoral low--gimme a break. God’s brighter than that.

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