Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Blessings of Prayer


It always amazes me at how different my thoughts are from God’s thoughts. Regardless of how hard I try, still the negative, hopeless thoughts seem to emerge. During the midst of my anger, I can only see the negative, hopeless side. It takes God to open my eyes and show me everything is not nearly as bad as I believe it to be.

I wrote this blog entry on Tuesday, only it was from a perspective of someone angry and taking the high and mighty stance. My words were sharp and judgmental, not at all reflecting the feelings of my heart. After hearing my old high school had stopped the pre-game prayer because of a complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), I was livid. In the flesh, I wanted to rant and rave and make my voice heard. I wanted to argue all of the reasons prayer should not be removed. However, after I stopped my temper tantrum God changed my mind and showed me the positive side. And then He blessed me to rewrite it.

Instead of believing there will be no prayer at the football games, I choose to believe during the moment of silence everyone who believes in God will pray. Instead of one prayer, there will be many. Maybe this will open the eyes of those who don’t go to church and remind them how much they need God in their lives. God can take a bad situation and turn it into a blessing.  The devil cannot stop God’s people! Regardless of how hard he tries.

In all reality, he only has the power God wants him to have. The devil has never been able to defeat God’s people. Oh, he might tempt and try us; still, he can’t make us do anything. We learned from Daniel that even when the world tries to make a petition to prevent us from praying that we still need to follow the voice of our Lord. And when we do that even if we are thrown in the lion’s den, God will be with us. On the other hand, Daniel prayed in his home. I don’t believe he prayed to be seen, to make a point, or because it was tradition. I believe he prayed because God burdened his heart to do so. There’s a difference in praying from the mind and the heart.

So often we don’t pray anyway. We go through the motions and I believe God wants us to make an effort. But in all reality, it takes Him to give us the prayer to pray. Without Him we can’t do anything, especially pray.

Instead of focusing on the things the world forbids us to, why don’t we focus on the things God wants us to do. We still have the freedom to worship God and tell people of His greatness. We should all live our lives so that people may see God through us. Instead of telling people we are a Christian, we should tell them we are a sinner saved by God’s wonderful grace, and then show them the love, forgiveness, and patience of our hearts.

Yesterday, God reminded me of the part of the bible where they came to take Him to be crucified and Peter drew out his sword and cut off the soldier’s ear. Instead of urging them to fight for Him, Jesus stopped them and touched the soldier’s ear and healed him. He gave as an example of how to act. The world will always persecute us for God’s sake, but instead of being angry and bitter we should be thankful that God counts us worthy to suffer for Him.

Instead of wishing harm on the nonbelievers, we should be praying for God to help their unbelief. Just as Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 (KJV) That is what we should be saying.

It’s so easy for me to see other people’s faults and failures, but I don’t have the right to judge anyone. I don’t treat God right either. When it all comes down to it, my sins nailed Jesus to the cross, but it was an amazing love that held Him there.  

I have found when I get myself straightened out and pray for my own sins then I can see much clearer to pray for others. My pastor tells us to pray for our leaders. Where would we be without God in our lives? We could do much worse, than what some people are doing.  

I’m so thankful God has given me such beautiful thoughts about prayer and the privilege to pray to Him. After all, the power of prayer heals the sick and opens the eyes of the blind. It shields us from harm and protects us. It gives us the strength to walk through the valleys of life and overcome the storms. It comforts us through grief and despair and gives us hope. It is the way we thank God for His many blessings and beg for His forgiveness. Prayer is the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.

Sometimes we put God in a box and believe He only has so much power, but He is all powerful. With a blink of an eye He could destroy this world and everything in it. He could take the very breathe away from those who are persecuting the church and trying to ban Him. He could sound the trumpets and call the church home and then allow the fire and brimstone to rain down. But He doesn’t! Why?—because of the power of prayer.

There is a little church somewhere crying out for her lost people. She’s begging God for mercy and just a little more time so her loved ones might be saved. She’s praying with tears and a broken heart for the nonbelievers. While the world loves to distract us and make us think God is losing His power, we know that God is always in control and He will have the victory.

1 John 4:4 (KJV)
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than He that is in the world.

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