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Prayer Can Change Anything?

May 5, 2020

No doubt you have heard that prayer can change anything. That’s almost true. But there’s another part of the equation that is required to make it true. Prayer plus humble obedience has the power to change everything.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many are tempted to be fearful, perhaps even to the point of despair. Some have lost their own precious lives, some have lost someone they love, some have suffered through the debilitating effects of this illness, some have lost their jobs, their income, and most have encountered significant disruption to the normal flow of their daily lives.

Every single crisis in life is also an opportunity to turn to the Savior in trust and complete surrender, and rest in His hands of mercy. Resting in the hands of God means security despite the insecurities and instability of life. It means we find freedom to love God and others, and we raise our eyes to heaven, rather than looking down in fear, despite the size of the challenge we face.

Prayer is aligning yourself with who God is and what He is calling you to do. It is not trying to manipulate God. We can get caught up in wondering if there is a right way to pray, a way that attracts God and the answer. We may think we aren’t praying “right,” so God’s not going to hear. That’s not the case. All you have to do is speak. Simply talk and tell God what is on you heart. God cares for you. He loves you and wants you to cry out to Him. He wants to help you and then use you to help others. When you seek Him with a humble, open heart, God can use you to bring light to the darkest situations.

“When was the last time you invited God into your world? It’s the wisest thing you can do. When you do, He promises to show up. When He comes, He doesn’t come empty-handed. He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience. Anxieties will still come, but they aren’t able to stick. Fears surface but can’t stay. Struggles come, for sure. But so does God our mighty and loving God. Prayer is not a privilege for pious people. It is not the career of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child.” (thoughts fromBefore Amen by Max Lucado)

Paul said to his Thessalonian friends. “We pray… that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 MSG). Doesn’t that stir your heart with possibilities? Doesn’t it make you want to talk to God right now?

You need those great ideas and acts of faith. You’ll NEVER make right choices without prayer. Regular prayer. Real prayer. Maybe you’re not that excited about it. Perhaps you think prayer is something for other “more religious” or quiet people. You may feel prayer is boring and you can’t even think what to say.

Relax. Prayer is simply talking to God about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. God really does understand the way you express yourself, even if no one else does. You can be totally honest, and completely confident that God hears you when you pray. He is anxious for you to talk to Him. He is waiting to hear from you. Prayer is such a gift to us for many reasons. Here are three of the best:

1. Prayer helps you to focus on God. Through prayer we get to know Him better. When you pray, you are unplugging yourself from the distractions around you in order to know Him better. That is why the Psalmist said, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Psalm 105:4).

2. Prayer develops intimacy with God. When Moses entered the tabernacle, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:11). That is what happens in prayer. You become friends with God. You develop an intimacy with a friend who loves you unconditionally and promises to never leave you.

3. Prayer is an essential weapon in fighting the good fight and making right choices. If you want to stop lying, manipulating, and worrying, pray. Prayer moves it away from being just something you would like or hope for. Praying adds God’s power to your simple desire. Whatever you need or want, pray about it. Prayer adds God’s energy to your efforts, and that makes all the difference.

When we pray, God hears. When God hears, He takes action. So pray. Pray for yourself. Pray for your family. Pray for your friends. Pray for your community and our world. You will get to see God do amazing things, and you will know you were part of it.

This Thursday, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer. So let’s make sure we take five to ten minutes and pray for our communities, country, and world. Also for first responders, doctors, nurses, and our leaders.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NLT