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Pointless Prayer?

The following is taken from a response written to an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institute where Calvary Chapel has a weekly ministry. The inmates sometimes send questions with our Ministry Leader to me.

QUESTION: If God will never violate someone's free will, then is it pointless to pray asking God to make someone stop doing whatever to me that is hurting me? Is the best I can hope for is God altering the situation so that they are no longer able to reach me?

It is never pointless to pray. If someone is doing or saying something that is hurtful to you, there are many things the Lord can do in response to your prayer without violating the other person's free will. It's not your job to figure out how the Lord can help you or whether nor not He will. God just wants you to trust Him and bring all your needs to Him. If one of your needs is protection, just lay it at His feet and trust Him to help you.

The second part of your question about "the best you can hope for" is an interesting statement and very common among believers. When we pray, we often ask God for very specific things, which reveals that we have expectations of what we think God should do if He truly has our best interests in mind. When those expectations aren't met, it's easy to become discouraged and even angry at God for letting us down.

So what is the best you can hope for when you pray? 

God's best is always His perfect faithfulness. You can expect God to be completely faithful to you and always loving--regardless of how He chooses to answer your prayer. So if someone is hurting you, bring it daily before the Lord and ask for His faithfulness to be shown in whatever way He sees best.

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