Life from the rear-view mirror

Prayer matters… as a matter of fact! VOL 116

July 9, 2016 | 1 Comment

prayPrayer matters to God…Prayer matters to people…Prayer matters to me…

There are few things in life I take as seriously as prayer. I’m not talking about some “shout-out” to the universe. I’m talking about getting a-hold of the “God of the universe,” knowing that the same God who fashioned and created it, cares more deeply about us than we may ever fully understand.
I realize that this may sound foolish or naive to some. No matter. I have experienced the POWER of prayer as folks have prayed for me and I for them in desperate circumstance. I have experienced the COMFORT of prayer …crying out to God in tragedy and loss. I have experienced the PASSION of prayer…whole-heatedly seeking God in desperation for someone or something that has broken my heart. I have experienced the FELLOWSHIP of prayer…daily communicating with my creator who lets me know in his word that he is my Savior, my Lord and my friend.
Prayer is powerful and purposeful. I would say that our prayer-life is an incredible indicator of our relationship with God. If the word prayer sounds too religious…talking to God with purpose is sort of the same thing.
Today I asked for prayer from the guys in my community group. I just sent them a group txt message, and a few minutes later I see the texts start coming back. “…praying” “I’m praying for you” and others. This wasn’t a 911 “all hands” call to prayer. This was me struggling with something personal…and it was them, keeping an open heart and an open ear to a brother who needed them go to God on his behalf. Whether I’m anxious about something or have a real pressing need…sometimes all it takes to relax about it is to know that guys I trust, respect and love, have my back in prayer. Sometimes…they have been the answer to prayer themselves. God has often used them in some material way or with some wisdom or life experience they have passed along to meet my need. That’s important to understand. Prayer doesn’t always have to be (and shouldn’t always or only be) about huge things like “please heal my wife’s cancer” or stuff that miracles are made of. (An important note here…what we would consider a miracle of God is no big thing for God…only a big thing for us) and believe me I have prayed for some big things and looked for miracles in life.
God is just as interested in hearing about the small things in our lives, the thankful things…the praiseworthy things, the joyful things. He is interested in everything about us and can listen to all of us, all at once and respond to each of us in our individual need, all at the same time, without breaking a sweat…more accurately without expending any energy whatsoever. He is God after all.
“Answers to prayer are ALWAYS about his will for you…and NEVER about his ability to accomplish anything you ask.” Did you get that? I’m going to repeat it for effect…”Answers to prayer are ALWAYS about his will for you…and NEVER about his ability to accomplish anything you ask.”
That makes it both easier and harder when we hear a “no.” Easier in that God could have said yes and perhaps our will would have been accomplished…in which case we are most always happy with God. Or he could say “no” and leave us not understanding what his ultimate will is for us in a particular situation. Believe me…”no” was hard to hear when I asked for Lori’s life. But I believe that ultimately God accomplished, and is accomplishing his will in my life. I am the only barrier to him using me to the full extent of his purpose.
So I hope you never forget that God wants to hear from you often…all the time in fact. But please be mindful of your heart when you pray…don’t allow a threshold of sin in your life.
Last time I looked God was not speaking out loud to anyone these days, so look for his answers to come in many different ways. Even in the timing of things. And when you see God at work…(and you will) and you see answers coming…(and THEY will) be thankful…and continue to trust God in every area of your life.
I have just undertaken a very hard and long struggle. This is not the first time I have taken on this personal character issue. But with God’s help…I hope it’s the last. I’m so thankful his grace and mercy are unending.
Long obedience in the same direction. I don’t know if David Whiting coined this phrase or not…but I heard it again from him last Sunday. That is what it’s going to take for me and of me…and I know it’s impossible for me without prayer and making the next right decision.
You know…I bet someone is praying for you right now. To meet a need…to mend a broken heart…to turn a child’s heart to God…to meet financial needs…to heal a marriage…to calm anxiety…to help find a job…to repair a relationship…maybe that you yourself would believe the gospel message and become a true Christ follower.
Real life is only found in life with Christ. And that life begins and ends with prayer. Don’t miss it!

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