How Prayer Works: Transform Your Day Through the Power of Prayer

How Prayer Works: Transform Your Day Through the Power of Prayer

(Inside: How does prayer work? It’s simpler than you think. Here’s one way to transform your day through the power of prayer. Let God nourish you through prayer.) 

Be still my racing brain

The twelve tabs open in my brain bounce between work, family, the coronavirus, ‘what’s for dinner’ and ‘why are four of my brain-tabs frozen?’ 

My thoughts feel tangled and heavy and I don’t know why. It’s frustrating because I’ve lived long enough to know-on-paper that good comes from bad, God is in control and I’m not doing life alone… 

But, still – I feel unsettled.  

how does prayer work

How does prayer work?

Do you remember that game you played during 5th grade field day? Around seven people would circle up. Everyone would extend their hands into the middle of the circle and grab a random hand so a knot of humans resulted. As a team, we’d work together to lift arms to walk under, turn, and step over joined hands to unravel the knot. We’d end up in an untangled circle holding our adjacent classmate’s hands. 

That same process is how I unsnarl my thoughts. 

I use a simple practice with powerful results: prayer. 

How to pray

Because I can’t pinpoint what exactly is revving up my anxious heart, I don’t worry about what to pray. Instead, I just start popcorn praying throughout my day… 

I pray for my oldest son – for protection, wisdom, and confidence. (In my brain – with my human knot of tightly woven thoughts – two connected hands are lowered and I step over.) 

I pray for my middle son – for happiness, friendships, and direction. (I spin under a raised hand I’m holding, slightly shaking loose a corner of the knot.) 

I pray for my youngest son – for joy, focus, and positive influences. (I bend under two arms.) 

I pray for my husband – for his work, protection, and that I love him well. (I turn clockwise, step over arms, and loosen another tangle.) 

I pray for my students, coworkers, and community. (Deep breathe, figure out the next move, and tuck under another set of arms.) 

I pray for my parents, in-laws, my grandma, and friends… (Another turn…) 

I pray for direction and the next right step… (Another step over…) 

I could care less about following any prayer rules or formulas, I simply spend my day talking to God. 

how does prayer work

God uses prayer to nourish us

Just like in 5th grade when I was slightly in awe of how we could always untangle the human knot, I’m often puzzled by why this prayer process unbinds my mess. But I know that as I say a prayer here, words there, the gentle peace of an ever-present God emerges. I feel him helping me not just know but also believe the words he presses deep within me: I am here with you always and forever. 

The peace, the message, the act of continual prayer clears my head. 

Not in an I-know-have-all-the answers way, instead in a God-is-with-me-and-for-me-despite-my-worries way. 


It’s one of God’s best tools to nurture us. 

My friend, I don’t know if you need to hear this today but I’m going to say it anyway: God is also always and forever FOR YOU too. If you don’t believe me, start your day with one tiny prayer… 

I want to learn more about how prayer works and if prayer even does work…

We got you, friend. Dive into our popular prayer series and let us know your thoughts on prayer. Leave a comment or send us an email. 

Why We Should Pray
Shifting Our Focus: Learning to Pray Like Paul
Praying Like Jesus
Crying Out to God: Learning to Lament

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2 thoughts on “How Prayer Works: Transform Your Day Through the Power of Prayer”

  • Oh how I love this writing. YES Prayer. I am so happy that you mentioned popcorn prayers. I always felt bad when I became a new Christian because I never could pray wonderful long prayers that I heard all these other Christian ladies were praying, Then through a bible study leader I learned about popcorn prayers and I realized I had been praying popcorn prayers right along. What a joy it was to learn that God heard and loved my popcorn prayers as much as he loved the long prayers. Now I pray whenever a persons name cross my mind. I get lots of prayer answers in spite of myself, Thank you.

    By the way I love this new format to getting in touch with you.

    • Thanks, Melinda. I know you are a prayer warrior – I love how inspirational you are in that area. 🙂

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