The power of prayer today

A long time ago, when I was first divorced, I had to sell my car.  Finances were tight and I couldn’t continue making car payments.  While I still used the car, having enough money for gas was another concern.

I went to a church meeting one night and on the way home the red light came on and the gas gauge plummeted to empty.  Home was still many miles away.  And so I prayed, “Please, God, help me make it home.” After that prayer, a sense of calm came over me, and make it home I did.

When the time came to sell the car, I mentioned the incident to some church members who wanted to buy it.  They chuckled and said that they could sure use a car that ran on prayer.  And so they bought the car.

I believe in the power of prayer.  It doesn’t absolve us from responsibility for doing the things we need to do, but God is there for us during the times when we’re down to our last hope. 

The apostle Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Think back on those times when God has answered your heartfelt prayer.  Such times usually come quickly to our remembrance because we felt especially comforted by and close to God.  We were rescued from the “fowler’s snare and deadly pestilence” (Ps. 91:3), as it were, and felt protected and loved by a compassionate God.

We can apply that same kind of focus in prayer for others, too.  We don’t lack for people for whom to pray whose plight is dire or whose suffering is great.  Remembering your own deliverance from difficulty, pray with thanksgiving and let God know for whom you pray and why.  Then hand over the results to God, confident of God’s unfailing love and care. 

That last sentence is the hard part.  So often we regress to worrying or handwringing over the people for whom we have concern, including ourselves.  We don’t even give God time to act.  Perhaps that is a good time to pray for ourselves, asking God to increase our trust and faith in God’s ability to take care of the situation.

These days call for people of faith to exercise the power of prayer for all of the ills of our times.  It is a small, but mighty way by which to address the injustice and suffering that we see all too readily.

I thank God for all of you and your faithfulness in prayer.  Keep on trusting that what you do has great and good impact in this world and the realm of God.