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Let's assume both a non-believer and a Christian has a fever. The Christian prays to God for healing of his fever. The non-believer doesn't do anything. 1 week later both recover from their fever.

What is the purpose of praying to God, in these kind of circumstances? Did God heal the Christian's fever? If yes, what is the difference compared with the non-believer, who also recovered? Or did both the Christian and non-believer recover by natural means (body recovering on it's own). Is there a need to pray about these things?

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There is a similar, possibly duplicate question. –  Pavel Dec 2 '12 at 21:33

1 Answer 1

When the believer in your example prays, he (or she) is acknowledging his weakness and inability before God, and calling out to God for help. In so doing he is drawn closer into relationship with God. Praying in this circumstance provides practice of thinking about God in the right way, which can a have a lasting effect on the state of mind the one who prays. This can occur before any result of the prayer becomes apparent.

Beyond this, God can and does answer prayer, and when he does it reveals his good nature and strengthens the faith of the one who prayed. To refuse to pray in this circumstance is to shut God out, and to reject relationship with him. As in your example, not praying does not mean that the person will not get better, but it is harmful to the one who does not pray.

Many Christians will be able to give you examples of answered prayers, and many base their faith, in part, in this experience of the action of God.

Of course prayer does not work like commanding an genie in a bottle, but that is not neccessary for prayer to fulfil its purpose.

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