In the Beginning…God spoke…and all the world was created. God spoke through Jesus in human language and new life was given. New language was given to the disciples at Pentecost and the Holy Spirit’s power spilled into thousands of lives.
Prayer is talking with God. I know I don’t do enough of it. What if prayer is more powerful than we give it credit for? What if we began audaciously praying for change in the world? How surprised would we be if it actually happened?
I just saw the movie War Room, a challenging story of the power of prayer to change lives. It is a wonderful encouragement to pray through Scriptures. Except I do not think it carried the message far enough in showing the hardships of battle. It is hard to see how much a prayer can effect the lives of those around you, and it is hard to see the struggle that goes on behind the scenes as we wrestle against strength that doesn’t come from flesh and blood enemies. Sometimes the victory is easy to see, and sometimes defeat lurks. Can we find joy even in the midst of dark times? It depends on what our joy is resourced.
In Acts 5, the crazy new believers were ecstatic to find that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for! They could not stop talking about him:
“40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”
That is a joy that I want to have: contagious, and not a commodity imported from the world around me. It comes from being armed by God for a war that is both physical and spiritual. And prayer is a very important weapon for both ourselves and Christians around us. After all, we’re talking with God.
Hebrews 4 says it well,
“14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God, just like that You are willing to talk with me, eager to hear my requests, and faithful to act for good in my life. All according to Your plan, which supersedes my selfish and short-sighted opinion. God, thank You for Your words, the power that they convey, and the truth that You have condensed into them. Please help me to learn to pray more effectively for those around me, those around the world I call brother and sister, and those who need to hear the news still. And thank You that You fight for us! You are the Victor! You get the glory! And I get to be on Your team! Through the tears, You are always there. And You are good. Thank You! Amen.