The Bible Shows Why Prayer Doesn’t Work

Illuminated (illustrated) manuscript I think I’ve figured it out!  The Bible itself makes clear why prayer doesn’t work, and the clues are all from within the same gospel, Matthew.

I’ve heard stories of people in fast food restaurants who aren’t content to simply pray to themselves but stand and pray aloud for everyone’s benefit.  Jesus isn’t keen on these pretentious people.

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  (Matt. 6:5–6)

But later in the same book, Jesus says something different.

If two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  (Matt. 18:19–20)

There’s the problem—prayer requires both a gathering and being by yourself.

No wonder it never works!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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About Bob Seidensticker
  • Bob Calvan

    Boy I love it when an Athesit interprets scripture. Which is an oxymoron.
    Again what does this have to do with Bob’s agenda? What does this have to do with Christians not playing fair? What does this have to do with Bob not minding the Christian religion as long as they do not mix religion and state matters? Hmmmm. Yes we can see what Bob’s agenda is.

    Anyway, Bob could it be that Jesus condems hypocritical prayer by false teaches, because they pray to be seen as what they are really not? And true believers are humble when they pray, as they have a time of quiet prayer alone where they pour out their heart to God. That is the context in MAtt 6.
    And in Mat 18. Where we have Chrisitians in a conregation meeting together have corporate prayer . In the Visible church setting where to or three or 100 are gathered together. Jesus is with them spiritually..
    Point is there is a time for private prayer done humbly and corporate prayer done reverantly

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Yes we can see what Bob’s agenda is.

      You could’ve just look at the “This Blog Is” identifier on the home page. It’s not a secret.

      Point is there is a time for private prayer done humbly and corporate prayer done reverantly

      “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father” seems pretty unambiguous to me.

      But maybe Jesus forgot to clarify that these lessons could both be in effect?

      That’s okay. He’s only human.

  • Bob Calvan

    “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father” seems pretty unambiguous to me.

    Yup, sure is as I said a time for private prayer..

    And there is a time for corprate worship and corporate prayer. One teaching has nothing to do with the opther teaching..Is that not allowed in you worldview.
    Jesus did the same thing..Jesus prayer to His Father was private in the Garden..As HE poured His heart out before His death.

    And Jesus prayed many times with His disciples.
    So again you miss the boat ..As confirmed in Corinthians..That the natural man ( you Bob) are unable to understand scripture..Yes, you can read it , but you have no understanding..Again you actions prove the innerancy of scripture

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      You can’t understand the religion until you get into it? Makes it tough to recruit, I imagine.

  • Bob Calvan

    We do not recruit, God already has His elect predestined before the foundation of the world.. We claim the gospel to all , and only those appointed to eternal life will believe. Acts 13:48.

    So all I do is tell the good news of the Gospel and God gets the glory..Whether one believes or not is not up to me or my recruiting abilities.

    That is why all you are doing will acomplish ZERO, There is nothing you can do to change ones mind about Christianity..God has predestined all things that come to pass, His elect sheep have already been determined. And when God has gathered His last soul then he end will come..Not a good day for you my friend!

    • Retro

      “…not a good day for you my friend!”

      I certainly hope that you’re truly one of the predestined elected ones Mr. Calvan, if not you’re going to Hell with the rest of us. And if you are, it’s certainly not because you’re any better than Mr. Seidensticker.

      “That is why all you are doing will acomplish ZERO, There is nothing you can do to change ones mind about Christianity”

      If everything’s predestined as you say Mr. Calvan, then all you are doing is also acomplishing ZERO. What difference does changing one’s mind about Christianity make if “only those appointed to eternal life will believe”? I guess you like telling non-believers that they’re going to Hell and there’s NOTHING they can do about it???

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker


  • http://www.bible-apologetics.com Cornelius

    Perhaps using this absurd logic you could also interpret that when someone tells you to “be worried about your health at all times”, means that you could “never relax and enjoy an afternoon” because that contradicts being cautious at all times and one can’t really be worried and relaxed at the same time. It’s clear that Jesus was contrasting how you should pray as opposed to those who went to pray in public just to be seen, not that you had to always absolutely be physically alone.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      I dunno, but when a guy who participated in the creation of the universe says “go to your room and close the door,” I think I’ll go to my room and close the door.

      But that’s just me.

  • Bob Calvan


    God has a means to His ends. And in Gods plan in soteriology the manner God uses to call His elect is by the preaching of the gospel and all those appointed to eternal life will believe. Acts 13:48

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      This is an aside, but alarm bells always go off for me when someone quotes a single selection of verses. Let’s grant that that’s indeed what those verses say. But could I quote mine the Bible to find something contradictory elsewhere and wave that around as God’s final word on the subject?

      I am not interested in the specific topic at hand; I’m speaking about a general problem with verse quoting.

  • Bob Calvan

    When one quotes a verse..A good hermenutical process is to read the whole Chapter to see the context.

    But keep in mind the non-believer is not able to understand scripture unless God grants them eyes to see.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      You said this before. And I’m still wondering how you reel in new members if the text is not understandable to candidate Christians.

      • Retro

        If it is as Bob C says, and “God grants believers eyes to see”, then why do Christians disagree on so many things?

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Oooo! Let me answer that one!

        “Christians” disagree because they’re not really Christian! Bob C and people like him are Christian. The rest are faux Christians, so it’s not surprising that they don’t get it. (If they were smart, they’d ask Bob C, and he’d set them straight.)

        How’d I do??

  • HoboBanana

    a physical individual with multiple-personality syndrome?

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