Prayer: Placebo or Panacea?

Prayer is neither a placebo or a panacea. It is not a cure-all or a myth intended only to please. If it were a panacea, it would enable us to walk by sight and not faith. If it were a placebo, of all hoaxes it would be the most cruel. Of all the things prayer is, it is a formidable therapy. 

One of the primary purposes of prayer is to get as close to God as possible. It is a gift from Jesus who gave us authority to pray in His name. It is a means by which we can fine tune our lives with the heartbeat of the Father. Though we tend to make prayer subjective, with our self the subject, it is most fulfilling when it is objective, and the object is our Heavenly Father. Always be more concerned with the one to whom you are praying than about what you are praying. Preoccupation with Him in prayer enriches the pray-er and enables spiritual, emotional, and physical victory.

The Greek word translated prayer is “proseuche.”  It involves more than just saying a prayer. It is a general term which speaks of devotion and worship. Talking to the Lord in terms of reverence, adoration is vital. When a lot of people think of prayers they have in mind supplication, that is submitting a want-list to God. That is good, but adoration is imperative.

For some it is a time to express sanctified complaints or specialized needs. However, the real therapeutic advantage is gained through true “proseuche,” prayer, that is, adoration, devotion, and worship of God.

Our “most fundamental need, duty, honor and happiness,” said the late Fredrich von Hugel, “is not petition, nor even contrition, nor again even thanksgiving …. but adoration.”

The word adore has become restricted almost exclusively to modern love songs. It implies the lover has been captivated by an overwhelming passion for the object of his or her obsession. True adoration of God is that and more. It is eager adoration, honor, and worship of Him as deity.

Not only has the word meaning been lost, but the awe and wonder of being in the presence of the Supernatural has been bleached out of life. The media has used creative means to desensitize us to the true Supernatural. We have grown to consider the extraordinary as ordinary.

The prayer of David after his spiritual restoration is one worthy of our use: “Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with your free spirit.” (Psalm 51: 12)

Through the prophet Isaiah God declared: “I dwell in high and holy places, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones … I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.” (Isaiah 57: 15)

Reflect on your prayer life in light of the concept shared herein. Does it need to be altered?