King David prayed.1 Jesus and John the Baptist prayed.2 Paul was a man of prayer.3 Yet atheists say hundreds of experiments have proven that prayer does not work. That would have surprised the three people we mentioned.
What does the Bible teach? Simply that we should ask the Father in the name of Jesus, and He will do it for us.4 Yet James warns us that there are conditions: ‘When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ 5 We need to ask what God wants.6 However, there is someone who doesn’t like prayer. He is the devil. Why doesn’t he want us to pray? Because he knows it works.
Daniel was quite a man of God. He was not even intimidated by the king’s decree that they could only address their prayers to the king, and to nobody else.7 He just carried on praying as was his habit (he did not know atheists who told him prayer doesn’t work).
On another occasion Daniel petitioned the Lord. After three weeks of prayer, an angel appeared to him. He told him that the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted him for 21 days.8 That means the demon assigned to ‘protect’ the Persian kingdom resisted the angel with the answer for Daniel. Demons are all under control of the devil.
It is interesting that atheists and skeptics consistently deny what the Bible teaches or emphasises. For example, they laugh at prayer. That shows us it is very important. The reason we know it, is because the prince of this world is their ‘adviser.’ People are influenced by either the Prince of the Universe, Jesus, who works through the Holy Spirit, or by the prince of this world, the devil.
So we understand that prayer is important and it works. Atheists come with very clever arguments, like how can a God who knows what is going to happen, react on our prayers? We need to remember that we understand very little of God’s unlimited power. A God who can write the genetic recipes (DNA) for millions of different plants and organisms, must be pretty clever. We are content to leave the technicalities in His hands, and do what He tells us to do. Pray!
So what can we conclude? Atheists and skeptics can teach us a lot about God and the Bible. The key is to consistently do exactly the opposite of what they advocate, and believe exactly the opposite of what they teach.
- 1 Samuel 23:10,12
- Luke 11:1, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’”
- Ephesians 1:16, ‘I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.’
- John 14:13-14
- James 4:3
- 1 John 5:14
- Daniel 6:1-14
- Daniel 10:13