Weekly Thought – March 30, 2021
Fred believed in prayer. Their daughter Brenda remembers seeing him on his knees beside the bed at night before going to sleep. On Mary Alice’s nightstand was a spiral notebook containing her prayer list, kept current with notes, additions, and subtractions.
Please continue praying for the ministry of BWF Project. Thank you for words of encouragement and financial support. Fred’s words only grow in relevance during seasons needing perseverance and wisdom.
Prayer Changes Me
Prayer definitely is a key element in the faith walk…even though I don’t understand it. I pray because it pleases God and changes me. When Mary Alice had brain surgery many friends called to say, “We are praying for Mary Alice and the family.” I started thinking about what effect prayer had on the operation.
First, it created a community of overwhelming love. We felt the care and support of friends. After the Gulf War General Schwarzkopf appeared on Bob Schuller’s Hour of Power program. He said he came just to express appreciation for the tremendous prayers of the American people which the soldiers felt during the military action. “We felt the upholding love and the community it formed around us.”
Many of my doctor friends tell me how importantly related are these feelings of love and the will to live. As Mary Alice prepared to go into surgery, we were all conscious of her strong will to live. The entire family traveled to the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic to be with her. The morning of the operation we traveled caravan style from the hotel to the Clinic. She and I knew in each family car there was much prayer being expressed for her well-being. In ours we were playing the Elvis Presley CD singing gospel hymns – a favorite of ours.
Second, I think the more people who are praying are then inclined to engage in worship, wanting God’s will, and acknowledging His sovereignty. I believe this pleases Him. Did the large number affect God? I certainly believe it pleased Him, but I do not think it affected God’s will for Mary Alice’s surgery. To say that God is impressed or influenced by the number of those praying for something is to humanize Him and make Him into a politician.
Some are tempted to create an environment in which they expect Him to perform. They almost threaten Him with displeasure if a large number gather with a specific desired outcome and He doesn’t grant the request.
Third, well-known people and Christian celebrities have no special standing with God – and no “in” for answered prayer. I often resent those who proudly announce the celebrity status of those praying for their cause. Scripture tells us God is no respecter of persons. It also says the prayer of a righteous individual accomplishes much, but it does not say the number and status of the person is key to that accomplishment. God is just as concerned with the prayer of an orphan in the slums as He is with the most celebrated of individuals. Thankfully, God doesn’t operate according to our social pecking order.
Our prayer pleases God and changes me by aligning me with God, not Him with us. It creates a community of love, and an opportunity for corporate worship. It is the unseen, but clearly experienced vertical and horizontal connection. In prayer we are wired to Him and to each other.
This week carefully consider: 1) What wrong thinking have I cultivated about prayer? 2) Who is the subject of my most fervent prayer this week? 3) How has God changed me through prayer?
Words of Wisdom: “Prayer definitely is a key element in the faith walk.”
Wisdom from the Word: “With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18 NET Bible)