Do you know the scene I’m talking about? When God tells Evan’s wife, Joan, that when people pray for patience, He gives them an opportunity to be patient. (Get it? Joan? Ark? Add an ‘of’ in there…and we’ll be on the same page with the laughter…)
I think one of the most underestimated things in the world is prayer. It’s easy for us to pray for a Thanksgiving dinner or as a team before a big game, but what are the normal times that we pray? I think I feel some categories coming on!
When there’s pain involved:
Whether it’s a physical injury or a matter of feelings, we humans take pain very seriously. We especially try to avoid pain before it happens. (The song “Haley” by Needtobreathe comes to mind.) For some people, they become a Christian when they need some help, when they need a spiritual doctor. I think going straight to the source of love and healing for help when you’re hurting is a great way to go. I know from experience that nobody can comfort more than the God of comfort, the God of the universe.
When there’s a contest afoot:
It’s okay, I’m guilty of this one, too. Don’t forget to offer up some reasons to support your plea, such as: I’ve worked so hard or I really deserve this…those are real crowd pleasers. I love this one because we use it to remind God that He loves us…like He owes us, or something. If God doesn’t answer these prayers in the way we intended, we get angry. We assume that we’re worthless and that God didn’t hear us. He had better things to do, greater prayers to heed. When this happens, we can sometimes miss the point God makes, the line He draws. There have been times when I’m so focused on how God “wronged” me by not granting me a wish, that I didn’t see His glory shine in the outcome. Don’t miss those. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Oooh. Conviction alert!
When there’s healing to be done:
This is something I’m proud to say that I’ve witnessed. Not in a mystical mist kind of way, but over time. I have to say…I think my home town is cursed. Van Alstyne, Texas, has seen so much heartache, injury, and disease over the last few years that I’m surprised they aren’t testing the water. Children and teenagers have died from cancer, tornadoes and car accidents, and the community has come together in an amazing way to pray for the students and their families. My grandmother suffered multiple bouts with cancer for 30 years, and her continuous prayer and faith kept her going, along with the prayers of others.
I fervently believe in the power of prayer. I used to believe that it was a script to be recited at certain times, but now I find myself in constant prayer. We all have things in our lives that could use some constant prayer, don’t we?
God knows I’m forever praying about my GPA, so that I can keep my scholarships. I don’t just pray for A’s, though. I pray for the strength to keep studying, even when I get tired. I pray for encouragement from people around me. I pray for reminders of why I’m in college and what my life has to gain from a few years here. We have to go deeper, pray deeper; really connect with the Father, pour our hearts out to Him because He’s listening and He cares.
One of my favorite things is praying with my friends. Recently, I received a text from a friend, asking me to pray for one of his coworkers that had lost a precious baby. My best friend was with me at the time, and we both received the same message. We stopped what we were doing, which was watching Celtic Woman, and prayed together for the girl and her family. I love that moment. It’s so precious to me.
“Our prayers are heard by the same God who answered Moses’ prayer for water in the desert, the God who gave Abraham and his barren wife a son, and the God who made the slave Joseph second in power only to Pharaoh”. (Crazy Love)
What are you praying for? Have you seen any prayers answered lately?
Listening to: “Say Your Prayers” by The Wedding