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Emails to God – The Power of Prayer? (Luke 18:1-8)

03 Aug

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Dear God, I have to admit that sometimes I question the power of prayer. I suppose, at some level, it is a matter of believing in predestination or not. If I believe in predestination, then what is the point in praying for my children, the sick, or anything else that comes to mind? I heard a quote one time where someone said, “I don’t pray because it changes God. I pray because it changes me.” That sounds really good and cool, but is it accurate? Do my prayers change you.

The Bible is full of examples of people changing your mind. Abraham got you spare Lot and his family instead of just destroying the whole city. Moses got you to relent before destroying the Israelites. I think there’s a story about either Elijah or Elisha getting you to change course. There’s the story of the king who got a few years added on to his life. So that leaves me with the question, what exactly is the power I have in prayer? Can I, a speck of dust, really change the mind of God?

All of this came to mind because I have noticed a shift happening in my life lately where I am feeling your power. I can feel a tangible difference. I also know that there are at least a couple of people who are praying specifically for me about a couple of areas of my life. Am I feeling the power of their prayers? Does their time spent petitioning you really increase your involvement in my situation?

I remember the book This Present Darkness. I read it over twenty years ago, but I remember that, at the time, it gave me an entirely different perspective on prayer and your power as it strengthens the power that flows into the spiritual warfare that is happening all around me at any given time.

Father, first, thank you for reminding me about the power and importance of prayer. Yes, I pray for my wife and kids. I pray for my marriage. I pray for my work and my friends. But how much am I really expecting to come from it? Well, I want to expect a lot because you are an awfully big God and I have a lot of things that need your help. Finally, I want to thank you for the power I am currently feeling in my life. The way is hard right now, and that path is murky, but I do, truly, feel your power. Help me to stay in the center of your heart and bask in your presence. And remind me of those around me who need my prayers so that I might lift them up to you and be a part of releasing your power in their given situation.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Luke

 

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