The bottom line: Yes, prayer does change things but it changes the one praying even more.
Prayer is one of the bedrocks of the Christian faith. Its necessity and value are not a matter of debate, but a multitude of misconceptions exist as to how it is to be done.
In Does Prayer Change Things?, R.C. Sproul eliminates the confusion about prayer by illustrating a clear Biblical picture of what it looks like in the believer’s life, its meaning, purposes, and effectiveness.
Subsequently, what the reader steps away with is an acute understanding of how prayer nurtures the relationship between creation and the Creator, transforming the believer more so than it changes circumstances. Ultimately, prayer brings us closer to God so our desire subordinates itself to His will.
The book is divided into six chapters: “The Place of Prayer”, “The Purpose of Prayer”, “The Pattern of Prayer”, “The Practice of Prayer”, “The Prohibitions of Prayer”, and “The Power of Prayer.” Sproul begins by urging all believers to take prayer seriously as it is the formal means of communication before a timeless and holy God. Thus, it is not a casual, impromptu conversation amongst “buddies” but a formal, regal, and structured affair. The author then clarifies exactly what that structure is in what I think is the most useful part of the booklet: The Pattern of Prayer. Here, Sproul analyzes line-by-line what Jesus told His disciples (The Lord’s Prayer) on how to pray.
Does Prayer Change Things? is part of the Crucial Questions booklet series, which provides practical answers to some of the most basic questions about the Christian faith and everyday Christian life. Overall, each of the books I’ve read in this series is worthwhile, quick, to the point, and very practical. This book is no exception. Anyone serious about their prayer life, serious about instructing others about their prayer life, or who earnestly seeks to discover the power of prayer should read this book.