Answers to Prayer
This week has been devoted to people and their need for God’s mercy. A number of our readers have been impacted by adversity and I am sure that the response to this need for prayer has resulted in our community coming alongside them and appealing to God on their behalf. Certainly, the response to posts this week has been “off the charts” so I can only assume that many of us connected with similar situations in our own lives and also need prayer from the community of believers.
First of all, to cover the bases, Janet is doing much better and it looks like her shoulder is healing. This certainly is an answer to prayer, and we both thank you for that. It appears that the pain she was in last week-end is subsiding and she is most grateful for the progress she has made during the week.
I have been in touch with Pat, the friend of our who has had to deal with the death of her husband while she out of the area, and in her own inimitable way, she has started the process of dealing with the loss of her partner for the past 42 years. Of course, this is a process, and when the time is right, we will conduct a memorial service for Bill – another step in the healing process. As in Janet’s case, an answer to prayer.
And remember Tracy, the wife of our nephew, whose uncle was getting ready to face extreme surgery in response to a rare, but very serious form of cancer? Tracy actually posted a long comment this morning, detailing the surgery and its aftermath. I hope that you will take the time to read it under the post “Mercy.” And while her uncle has a long road ahead of him, the first hurdle has been cleared and the surgeons believe they have removed the cancer. Now the painful process of healing begins. Another case of an answer to prayer.
Now I could go into all sorts of detail about how to pray – from the famous Lord’s Prayer that Christ taught his disciples, “Our Father, who art in heaven….. ” to the childlike grace that kids sent up to heaven before a meal. You know, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” But I think that there are a variety of ways to pray that are acceptable to God. Authentic, genuine communication with God, in a spirit of worship and repentance is always acceptable. And while many people take exception to praying for themselves, I think God wants us to present our petitions to Him, as we are told in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And while pastors and theologians have debated the form and order of prayer for centuries, my own experience is that approaching God with a humble heart, with the faith of a child, in quiet adoration of the Father, seems to be a great combination. And prayer is a form of worship – which sometimes gets lost in our modern society. And while many of us think that we are too busy to pray, Bill Hybels, Founding Pastor of Willow Creek Church, in Barrington, Il, wrote a great little book, titled, “Too Busy Not to Pray.” I don’t think it needs any explanation. Prayer is a necessary part of our lives; and should be something we look forward to rather than squeeze in to our daily life.
And rather than go on with further details, I think it’s time for the verse of the day, from Paul. In 1 Tim 2:1, we are told, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.” Notice the last word – everyone. So whether we know the family in need of prayer or not, we have an obligation to lift them up to God.
My encouragement tonight is to make sure that you do everything you can to lift up people who are in need. God answers prayer, and we should look forward to petition the Father as Christ intercedes on our behalf in front of God. And my prayer tonight is that you will continue to pray for God’s grace, mercy and peace for the entire community – and that means everyone….Have a great day in the Lord.
And in case you haven’t noticed, we have added a place on our home page to request prayer – for yourself or someone else. If there is something that we can lift up to the God of the universe, please let me know and I would be honored to pray for you.