|Photo by Amelia Grace Photography|
Our tables were close to one another, so it took no intentional effort to overhear the conversation between two women sitting at a nearby table. It went something like this:
(Woman #1): “I’m so sorry that you are going through this. Can I pray for you?"
(Woman #2): “No thanks, I don’t need to bother God with it. I know this is as good as it gets. I just have to learn to cope with it.”
Admittedly, my first thought was to dig into my purse, whip out my anointing oil, and lay hands on this woman (OK, I’m kidding…well, sort of). Since that might have been a disproportional response and also quite ill-timed, I prayed silently. Her words hung on me (and haunted me) for the rest of the evening. My heart ached for her, and I so badly wanted “Woman #2” to believe the truth of the power of prayer. I wanted to tell her that no problem is a “bother” for God. He cares about it ALL! I also wanted her to know that she can "...come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Heb. 4:16), not only to ask for strength to endure her current circumstances but that she can pray boldly that God change her circumstances. I wanted her to know that this doesn’t have to be as good as it gets.
Driving home, though, I began to sense that familiar conviction-hug from God as He showed me my own heart. If I’m being honest, the truth is that I often approach my prayer life that way, too, with the same “as good as it gets” mindset. Sure, I pray, but my expectations regarding prayer are often far too low.
Do I really believe He moves at the sound of my voice?
Sometimes, the answer is no. I can sometimes forget and, even worse, doubt that the God of all Creation, the maker of Heaven and Earth, and the Redeemer of my soul not only hears my prayers but is moved by them. God has not only told us unequivocally through His Word but has proven it time and time again in my own life that He will allow Himself to be influenced through prayer. I’m certainly not saying that we are more powerful than He is, and indeed only God can bring change. He is omnipotent. He may not do everything we say or ask - He is God, and we are not - yet His Word is clear that our prayers influence Him to move.
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (2 Chron. 7:13-15, NIV)
When I pray, His heart hears, and His hand moves.
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found faithful. (1 Cor. 4:1-2, NAS)
Do you see that? We are stewards of the mysteries of God. Wow. We have been entrusted with the secrets of God, which have yet to be revealed, and we are called to be faithful to pray. What better gift can we give to one another than influencing the King of Kings to move on our behalf and to speak what is in His heart into being? If that isn't a call to prayer, I'm not sure what is.
How can I pray for you?
Melissa is an itinerant speaker/teacher, blogger and author residing in the South. She is single (although she prefers the term “unclaimed treasure”) and lives with her two children, Henry and Hannah, who are technically canine (ssshhhh… they don’t know they aren’t human). Her vision and passion for ministry is to shepherd others to the grace, hope, healing, and restoration found only in Jesus Christ! Through her own life journey, God has transformed her heart, and she has experienced the true meaning of “beauty from ashes”.