What do we gain from prayer?


Once a man was asked, ‘what did you gain by regularly praying to God?’ 

The man replied, ‘Nothing…but let me tell you what I lost: anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.’ 

Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not gaining but losing; which ultimately is the gain. –Anonymous

This unattributed quote has been making its way across the internet via social media the past few weeks. Reading it, I was moved to reflect on the question, ‘What do we really gain from praying?’

In the quote, the man explains what he has lost through prayer, but truthfully each of the things he says he has lost are actually gains if you look to the positive. He…

  • lost anger… but gained happiness,

  • lost ego… but gained compassion,

  • lost greed…but gained generosity and gratitude,

  • lost depression…but gained joy,

  • lost insecurity…but found comfort in God’s Word,

  • lost fear of death…and gained everlasting life.

So, what do we gain from regularly praying to God? Here are some thoughts:

1 Prayer helps our physical and psychological health

Praying makes us feel better, reduces anxiety, and calms us in our times of need.

2 Prayer deepens our relationship with God

When things are going wrong, we want to tell our problems to a friend. We want someone to tell us that things will be alright; to comfort and console us.  If Jesus is truly our friend, then isn’t He the One best friend to offer us comfort? By going to Him, we deepen our relationship with Him and find comfort and consolation in His promise.

3 Prayer helps us to draw on God’s strength

When we realise that we are helpless to solve our problems on our own and that we need God’s strength to sustain us, remember Ephesians 6:10 where we are told to draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power.

4 With prayer, joy and Grace are guaranteed

God’s never-ending supply of grace is waiting for us if we just ask. Prayer is the vehicle by which His grace is heaped upon us and our depression and fears are turned to joy.

5 With prayer, God supplies our needs and fulfils our desires

A verse that my wife Diane and I held close to our hearts early in our marriage was this magnificent promise from the gospel of Matthew: Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by My heavenly Father. I can’t speak for others, but this promise has worked for us 100% of the time.

6  With prayer, we gain wisdom

When we are making a decision, any important decision, like taking a new job, buying a house, picking a college to attend, or deciding on surgery, He will guide us.

Prayer is always positive and we profit from it whenever we pray. If we pray regularly, we not only loose anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death, but we gain so much more.

Edward Barrett