Sunday, May 18, 2014

Prayer Changes Us

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On the way home from church today, Zoey told me that her Sunday School class prayed for her. She said that they heard her coughing and prayed. They, just as I, know that she has had this cough for about a month now. After two different trips to the doctor, we have concluded it comes from a sinus infection that has been further aggravated by allergies. We now have medicine that seems to be working; however, she is still coughing. Thus, the moment of prayer over Zoey.

I expressed to Zoey how wonderful it was for her class to pray for her. I asked her if she felt any better. She said no. Then I asked her if she felt happy that her class cared enough about her to pray and want her to get better. She said yes, that she felt loved by her class. It seemed their prayers really affected her in a positive way.

This conversation made me think a little more about prayer and the power it has. Prayer is how we communicate with God and He with us. It is how we express our dreams and fears to our Lord. However, it doesn't matter what we say about ourselves or others, it does not change God. It will not change his mind because He cannot be changed.

1 Samuel 15:29 -- "And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"

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However, prayer does change us. I've always believed that expressing to others that you will pray for them, and actually follow through on it, is one of the most powerful things you can do - especially when you stop in the moment to lift up prayers with them. It is not even that God would change the situation, though it is within his power to do so; instead, it is a simple way to show others, through action, that you care what happens to them. And that, in itself, is a very powerful thing indeed.

We go through this world of billions of people, living day to day, hoping to simply make a difference, to matter to someone, and to be loved by someone. When others stop thinking of themselves and take the time, the forethought, and the energy to pray for you, it means that they care. As one among many, there is someone who connects with you and that cares what happens to you. When we all care for each other, look after each other and lift each other up, we are loving our neighbors. It is the second most important commandment given to us by Jesus only after loving God (Matthew 22:39).

Zoey coughing this morning could have been a moment of sadness, frustration or illness; instead, because she has people who love and care about her, it was a morning of happiness, joy and learning. When we lift others up with our words and our actions, when we take the time and effort to pray for others, it changes us. It changes those we pray for, giving them a positive outlook and encouragement during a time of tribulation. It changes us as we pray because it helps us realize that everyone has troubles and we all need some love to help us through the bad days. When you reach out and help lift others up, they will be there to hold you up when you begin to fall.

It is a beautiful thing, the power of prayer. It is a joy to see love in the actions of those around us. Prayer changes us for the better. It lifts you up when you are down, it gives you light when you can't see, it brings love and companionship even when you feel all alone. Pray for others, lift them up, encourage them and when someone offers to pray for you, let them, it may just change your life.

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