The power of prayer changes things…and us!
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
This year the theme of the Call to Prayer Ministry is “Prayer Power.” The logo is designed to show that when we focus our prayers, great power is unleashed. The territorial Call to Prayer ministry is mobilizing Prayer Partners to pray for the 65 or 70 prayer needs shared in the Urgent Prayer Needs list distributed each week by e-mail or picked up as a telephone message on the toll-free Salvation Army Prayerline 1-877-347-PRAY. The responses that filter back are thrilling and prove over and over again that God is hearing and answering our prayers!
“Prayer changes things,” but what about the prayers? Is God changing you?
Philippians 4:6 tells us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.”
“Guarding our hearts and minds,” —that’s the benefit of bringing our concerns to God. When we pray, even with faith as tiny as a mustard seed, God listens and acts. But the benefit we often forget is the peace and the confidence that God gives us, the prayers.
Haven’t you noticed it? When you really pray and just give “it,” the situation or the person, over to God, there is a release that sweeps over you with a calm and peace that is profound.
It’s true that sometimes we pray and then take the responsibility for the outcome back, like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, who took off his pack, felt wonderful, and then in leaving, took it all back up again. There’s no peace in that! God knows our burdens and worries even before we utter them. But he needs to hear from us, and we need to tell him and then leave it with him!
Rev. Darryl Del Housaye writes about “constant communication” in his daily devotional book; Today for Eternity. “Do you want to know the will of God for your life right now? Here it is: Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:15-18).
What is Paul talking about? Going around with your eyes always closed, bumping into trees? No, he’s talking about constant communication with God. Do you want proof that you totally depend on God? This is it: constant, unceasing communication between you and your Father in heaven.
Lord, what should I do? What should I say? Father, I don’t know how to handle this situation; give me your wisdom. Lord, this person’s problems are so great, I don’t know how to help…what would you have me answer?
Father, I’m starting to feel frustrated… and your word says, “Be anxious for nothing.” Okay, Lord. Help me now to obey.
Lord, I’m tired, I’m angry, I’m getting defensive. I can’t take this. Father, I don’t know how to respond; help me right now to say and do what Jesus would say and do. Let me forget about myself, Lord, and just be your servant.
And here is the miracle: As that anxiousness rises in your heart, and you then talk to God about it, you begin to experience (though sometimes it takes a while to notice) the peace that surpasses all understanding. And you’re okay. People around you notice it—because you’re responding as Jesus would.
Do you have it today? That attitude of constant communication—constantly talking to the Lord—about everything.”
There is power in prayer to change everything—and US!