Pastor H. B. Charles Jr. Says Prayer Must Be “Our First Response, Not Our Last Resort” to Difficulties and Disappointments

H. B. Charles Jr.
H. B. Charles Jr.

Life’s inevitable difficulties and disappointments can discourage believers from praying, but our response should be to pray anyway, and keep praying.

(Q&A conducted by Matt Erickson, managing editor of Facts & Trends.)

Q: What were your goals for “It Happens After Prayer”?

CHARLES: First, I wanted it to be a book about prayer filled with Scripture, not stories. Testimonies of answered prayer are inspiring but don’t have the authority of Scripture. Power in prayer comes from a mind and heart saturated with biblical truth, wisdom and promises.

I also wrote this book to motivate the reader to pray. Some books beat you up about your lack of prayer. But that’s not the tone of Scripture. The Word of God woos us to pray. And I wanted to write a book that had that same feel.

Q: Why should we pray?

CHARLES: There are at least two biblical reasons why we should pray. First, we should pray because the Word of God commands it. Prayer is an act of obedience. It is a sin not to pray. Second, we should pray because it works. God hears and answers prayers. It is the means by which our heavenly Father provides for His children.

Q: What’s the most important lesson we can learn about prayer?

CHARLES: It happens after prayer. It really does. God hears and answers prayer. There are things we need God to do for us that will not happen until we pray. Sure, there are a lot of things we can do to help the situation after we pray. But there is nothing we can do to help the situation until we pray. When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works.

Q: Why should we keep praying when nothing seems to be happening?

CHARLES: I was on a red eye flight with a little girl overwhelmed with the experience of her first flight. She asked her mom, “Why are we just sitting in the air?” Of course, we were not. It seemed that way to the girl. But there was someone in the cockpit speeding us to our destination. Prayer is the same way. It may seem nothing is happening. But God is at work. Don’t stop praying!

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
H. B. Charles Jr.

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