I felt the need to write this post to not only remind you, but also myself, that our prayers are powerful. I want to share with you some scripture and four stories from my personal life that together add to my understanding of the power of prayer.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Some months ago I prayed with a man who had just started coming to our Aroma community. He was interested in Jesus, but his family wasn’t. Yet he still expressed a desire to pray for them. I asked how we could pray and he told me about his brother who struggled with a compulsive spending disorder was not in a good place and was unable to control his finances. And so we prayed. I didn’t know this man’s brother… and we are still praying for healing in his own life too, so I didn’t think to follow up on how his brother was doing. Then last Easter Sunday this man, Sam, was baptized. In his testimony he mentioned how the week after our prayer he began to notice changes in his brother’s life. Jesus working through our prayer was an important moment in the development of Sam’s faith.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
By now many of you might know our big surprise. Brittany is pregnant! Our new family member is due to arrive this October. What may don’t know though is that we have been praying for this miracle for quite some time. Almost two years. It’s funny how God works. We found out about Brittany’s pregnancy just a week after I had written these words in a notebook during a time of prayer. “I’m frustrated; Brittany’s not pregnant.” I’m sure God was laughing at me since at that point in time Brittany was indeed… already pregnant. I’m not always the best at praying out of thankfulness. This was a lesson in that.
James 5:16 says, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Recently Kennedy experienced a week-long spell of what I would describe as night terrors. These panic attack-like moments lasted about half an hour every night as she went to bed. Kennedy would describe thoughts in her head about death and “Satan trying to trick me into thinking Jesus isn’t alive.” Very little would calm her during these times. So we prayed. Last Sunday our community group circled around her and as we laid hands and prayed over this little six year old girl she began to cry. The details of what happened are a mystery to me, but that night Kennedy fell asleep with no problems at all.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
Two weeks ago I was getting ready to speak in front of the Aroma Church congregation. I had prepared my material and was confident God would use it. Everything that week had been great. However, if I’ve learned anything from scripture it is that God wants the glory and so I’m convinced there will never be a perfect sermon/teaching/speech from my lips just so that God can spare me from getting a big head. That day my I woke up and my head and sinuses let loose. I had been sniffling, blowing my nose, and coughing the whole day. This persisted until the evening service and now it was time to speak. By God’s grace my two mentees noticed this and approached me independently. With minutes to spare they said a quick prayer and I thanked them and did my job. It wasn’t until I was leaving the stage having just finished that I realized I had experienced no problems with my head or sinuses that entire 45 minutes. As soon as I stepped off that stage guess what happened. The sniffles returned. God sure does have a sense of humor. Yet, even then He provides. Praise the Lord!