Bible Question:

I am a Hindu, but I have been going to church on a regular basis; and I have felt a sense of peace in His presence. Sir, some one told me that prayer without labour is meaningless. What does this mean?

Bible Answer:

The proverb “prayer without labour is meaningless” implies that after making one’s request to God a person also needs to work to make it come true. The proverb implies that if we only pray, God may not deliver. Here are some more thoughts about the proverb.

1st Thought

The proverb assumes that prayer is nothing more than asking God for things for ourselves or for others. But prayer is more than asking for things. It is about talking to a living God. God is a person. The following verses are wonderful.

For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face. (NASB) Ps. 11:7

Jesus wept. (NASB) John 11:35

Each passage tells us that God has emotions. He is not cold and uncaring. He listens to the prayers of every person who really seeks Him. Every man or woman who is honestly sorry for his/her sins and seeks God’s forgiveness will be forgiven. He is a God who loves us (John 3:16).

2nd Thought

Scripture never tells us that we do not have because we do not work to make our requests happen. But scripture does say this,

. . .You do not have because you do not ask. (NASB) James 4:2

Prayer is a request to an all powerful person Who has feelings and Who loves us. But He does not always say, “Yes” to our request. He sees into our future. He knows what is best for us because of things that will happen. But most of all, God wants us to believe in Jesus Christ.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (NASB) 1 John 3:23


Prayer is talking with God. It can include praise, and thanks, as well as requests. God watches over us. He cares for us. He answers our prayers when it is best for us. The most important event that can occur in a life is to believe in Jesus Christ. There is another proverb which says, “God helps those who help themselves.” You may be interested in a link to a previous question about this proverb.