When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.
We are created in God’s image, and therefore a sense of compassion and justice is embedded into our sensibilities. The needs of our neighbors and family are well beyond our ability to resolve for them—at least on our own. God can work his will and has unlimited resources. We say we believe this, right? Why then do we pray so little, relatively speaking, to ask him to bring about victory and relief?
Perhaps because deep down, we don’t believe he will act. Most of us believe he has the power to act in response to our prayer. But because so many prayers seem to have been unanswered, or answered too slowly, or not in the way we’d wished, we wonder if he has the will.
One of my mentors told me that we need ten attaboys just to overcome the memory of one put-down. I wonder if it might likewise be true that our minds cling so tenaciously to the one prayer in which the answer seemed to tarry that we forget the nine which were resolved?
Maybe it’s just that we spend too much time worrying instead of praying.
I’d been telling a friend about a situation which had the potential to cause harm to my family. At some point, though, God gave me the strength, and the words, to acknowledge his kind sovereignty. “The situation is completely out of my hands now,” I told her. “So I’m not wringing them.”
Just then, I heard it, deep in my spirit. God was saying, “Attagirl!”
The situation was in his good hands. Rather than wringing mine, I could unclench them and put them together in prayer.
You know what? I’m still waiting for the answer to that prayer, to that situation. But in the meantime, many others have been swiftly resolved. I either believe, or I don’t. He tells me that my prayers matter, that he is listening, and that they are powerful and effective. “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:1-2, nlt).
Try it. Yep—right now. What would you like to ask our good God for today?
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Devotion drawn from my The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional. Available now from Tyndale.
Main photo used with purchase permission from Shutterstock.