Friday, November 9, 2007

Ah! The power of prayer...

I used to be one of those people who you could call and ask for prayer and I would say "sure thing!" and then hang up the phone and never turn to God asking on your behalf. I thought as long as I looked like I was doing something good, I was helping.... I didn't realize how powerful prayer really is. I know I have said this before- my little girl is almost five years old and she thinks that every time she talks to God, her request is immediately answered- she prays with that childlike faith that I wish I still had. I love it. Now when she has an "owie", we simply talk to God about it and amazingly it feels better. And I do not say this in a teasing way. I truly believe that God answers her prayers because she is asking in His name, fully believing He will answer her one way or the other.

Part of the message my pastor gave last week at church was about prayer- he quoted all of the places in the Bible where it says "ASK" and he gave an illustration that he had in his mind of God sitting with a room full of gifts he wanted to bestow on us, but since we never asked, they remained there. I hadn't really considered it that way. I always thought I was being greedy or needy or selfish to ask God for things, when, in fact, that is exactly what He wants from us- that dependence on Him. He wants us to turn to Him and ask for the things we need and the things we want. He wants to bless us and take care of us. Does that mean that all of our requests will always be answered the way we want them to, or when we want them to? Not necessarily, but when we ask in His name, I truly believe it means He will answer. He loves when we come to Him and petition Him. He loves when we as continually because it means we are continually coming to Him and admitting we can't do this on our own. So my question is- why did I ever not turn to Him? I didn't realize His heart for me (a whole other topic). One huge thing I have learned lately, though is, "ask, and you shall receive." I have a friend who, two weeks ago, was struck with a flesh eating staph infection. It affected her nose and immediately next to it. She said she was so embarrassed and afraid to show it to anyone and she was highly contagious with two toddlers running around. So she turned to the people of our church to ask for prayer. Her nose went from being almost completely mutilated to almost completely new in the course of a week- the doctors said this should have taken months to happen- God listens. I have another friend whose wife had debilitating migraines for years- which left her unable to be the wife she wanted to be and unable to be the mother she wanted to be. She was basically bedridden for years. One night she and her husband attended a prayer service at our church and out of a last effort, desperately petitioned God on her behalf since then, she has been healed of her migraines... again, God listens. So now, when you call me and ask for prayer, do you think I hang up the phone and got back to whatever busywork I was doing? Most certainly not! I have seen God answer prayers- amazing prayers- seemingly impossible prayers and I trust God. I am convinced I have now, because I am asking and trusting God, and, He listens. :)

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