Weekly Thought – April 16, 2019
Fred’s exceptional verbal skills often made him the “go to guy” for public prayer. He preferred to keep prayer private. The frequent competition seen (and heard) by vocationals prompted Fred’s hesitation. His family remembers their Dad on his knees beside the bed in earnest prayer. That image taught them the reality of his faith.
BWF Project is undertaking several major projects in 2019: upgrading You and Your Network, a book based on the What’s Next Roundtable, and website reconstruction. We are thankful as you stand with us in this exciting year.
Prayer is both marvelous and mysterious. Marvelous that a sinner saved by grace can at any time commune the Lord Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. In the night when I awake and am tempted by frustration because I am bedbound, it is comforting to be able to talk with the Lord about it.
One of psychiatrists who helped select the first astronauts told me about the one of the tests they used. They needed to see how much they could withstand in total isolation. He said some could go indefinitely. When they did further examinations, they discovered these were the ones who could pray. If we could only realize our opportunity for direct communication with the Lord, how much more we would do it.
Mysterious is the nature of intercessory prayer. How can my request affect God’s love for others? How can my prayer influence His activity in their lives? Yet, in scripture we are instructed to pray for one another. Frankly, I would be so frustrated if I didn’t have the opportunity to pray for others when there is absolutely nothing else I could do for them.
Often people will say to me, “At least I can pray for you.” I remind them praying is the most they can do for me. I have never felt the number of those praying is the vital point. I do not believe God is impressed with celebrity Christians. I think of saints who are known only to a small circle of friends, who endure hardships, and pray with devotion and power. I think of those who prayed for me as I grew up in the Mill District of Nashville with little material resources, but great faith. I felt like the sweet widow lady’s prayers were just as effective as those of Billy Graham. I do not think God is a politician who counts votes and is influenced by the numbers. Still, I am grateful for each and every one who encourages me by saying, “Fred, I am praying for you.”
The other day I found a bit of humor when I thought of all those who have said, “after your near death experiences it is evident God has more work for you to do.” A friend then not-so-gently reminded me that maybe heaven just isn’t ready for Fat Fred. I pray for you as you pray for me. The comfort of this communion is marvelous and mysterious. Prayer is one of God’s greatest tools and gifts.
This week think about: 1) How am I growing in my prayer life? 2) What is my answer to “why do you pray?”3) Who is on my intercession list?
Words of Wisdom: “In the night when I awake and am tempted by frustration because I am bedbound, it is comforting to be able to talk with the Lord about it.”
Wisdom from the Word: “O LORD, I come before you in prayer.” (Psalm 25:1 NET Bible)