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Does God answer prayers?

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Does God answer prayers? If so, which? And how?

Those are big issues to many teenagers. If you're planning to teach about this, check Mark Copeland for a sensible outline and Marilyn Adamson for good, clear answers to basic questions. This column's old friend Graham Pocket has good points to make about mysteriously unanswered prayer, and Grady Scott explains just how God sends his answers. For ideas on even more related issues, consult AllAboutPrayer and PrayerGuide

There's nothing like a true story, and the Internet's full of real-life answered prayers; I've listed a few sources for you, below, including 24-7 which will send you regular e-mail updates, and a video story. If your group can handle a blast of scepticism, The Onion could be an interesting way to start the discussion. (What's being sent up here? Is this fair? What can Christians learn from the satire?) Alternatively the Athlete's Accident story would be an interesting case history to examine together.

Videos? "Power of prayer" might be an arresting launch to the session. If they know the story of Corrie ten Boom, her interview about prayer could be telling; if they know the story of Jackie Pullinger, John Perry's tribute song could be a powerful conclusion. (But if they don't know those stories - tell them anyway!)

*Real life answered prayer:

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