“If you are strangers to prayer you are strangers to power.” Billy Sunday
Prayer doesn’t always come easily for me. I know how to ask God for help and how to ask him for forgiveness. I know words to say that glorify God…
I was looking out the window of the church office this morning, with its glorious view of the Verde Valley and the Rim beyond and these words from the Psalms came immediately to my mind… “I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help.” The majesty I see when I look at the wonders God has made help me to internalize God’s love.
When I look to the hills and begin my prayers I often struggle to say the right words, to convey my needs and what is on my heart in a way that God will understand and act on. However I know that God knows what I am praying for and what I need long before I open my mouth or try to put it into words. When I tell someone that I will keep them in my prayers, I put them on my mental list of who to pray for the next time I am alone and/ or “have the time.” But, I know that as I say “I will keep you in my prayers”, God knows that I care about this person or situation and is already on top of it. It never hurts to repeat the request and to repeat it often if need be, but my faith tells me that God is already aware of anything that I can come to him with.
Thank goodness that God does not just hang around waiting for me to call something to his attention. God knows! Prayer is our way of doing something, when there seems to be nothing else we can do. I also believe that when I ask God to heal someone or rectify a situation he is listening and takes my prayers into consideration. But I know that God knows what is best, much better than I. Prayer can be rich when it’s simple and spontaneous. In fact, we can pray anywhere, at any time. It doesn’t require lofty language in a sacred space. All we need to do is see our ordinary moments as the perfect occasions for communicating with God, then speak from our heart.
As Billy Sunday said, there is power in prayer…people know when they are being prayed for and feel comforted. God listens. God acts.
When I was in my 30’s I received a phone call from my mother in Maryland to report that she and my father had been mugged and that Dad had been shot. It was hard being so far away, but I knew the best I could do at that time was pray. I prayed and prayed, as did many other people. Dad was healed. He had bullets in him for the rest of his life, but God answered our prayers. Because Dad still had more to do on earth…probably, maybe even most likely, but also because he heard the prayers of so many.
Prayer is taking action, prayer can comfort and prayer is how we communicate to God. I know that he is always listening and I know that he loves to hear from us.