Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday: The Power of Prayer

It’s Thursday and I am thankful for the power of prayer to change people, circumstances, moods and minds! Heartfelt, persistent prayer to God coupled with faith in action can move mountains! 

I remember a day not so long ago (like a literal week ago) when I was up against a mountain—a metaphorical mountain of the mind—called negativity. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s the feeling, the words, the thoughts and experiences that mess with your mind and disturb your soul. It’s the situations that unsettle you, it’s the memories that bother you…it’s how you feel when your thoughts take a turn for the worst. 

However, it was a conversation between my pastor and I online that helped to lift the dark clouds of negativity that had descended upon my mind. The conversation began like this: 

Me: Please pray for me, I am anxiety-ridden and feel lightheaded
Pastor: praying now 
Me: thanks I'm just really stressed out...trying not to dwell on the negative 
Pastor: don’t negative thoughts won’t do 
Me: I know but it's a lot … 

I then went on to describe everything that was weighing me down—from the reasons certain people have assumed is the indisputable truth as to why my first big break in Journalism did not work out, to the hatred people have for each other simply because of the color of one’s skin and the stereotypes that surround the superficial appearance, to feeling like there was no one to talk to who would not only hear me but understand my plight—it felt like I was all alone in my despair and drowning in negativity. 

No sooner than I typed the last word in pouring my heart out to my church’s pastor, I received a phone call. It was my pastor and his wife. He asked me, “Hi Alexis, how are you doing?” Then before I could answer he said, “We know how you’re doing and we would like to pray with you.” My pastor prayed for me over the phone and I could feel the stress being released through the tears that started flowing like water bursting through floodgates. After the prayer, I told the pastor how I appreciated it and as the conversation concluded, I pressed the “end” button on my mobile phone and was once again by myself. But now I knew I was not alone because God was there and He answers prayer. 

Life is beautiful. But life is also hard. There are days that we go through things that make us not want to go on. But there are also days that make us feel grateful to be alive. And no matter how hard or easy life may get, we need to always remember these truths: God is love. God loves you. God is eternal and so is His providence for you. What does this mean? A few simple facts: You are never alone because God is with you. If you need help, know that you can call God through His wonderful gift to us called prayer. 

How do you pray? From the heart—pour out your deepest desires, present your problems, go to God in your time of need. The Bible says in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 4/verse 16, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” 

I love that verse because it reveals so much about the character of God. Look at these key words: “boldly,” “gracious God” “receive his mercy” and “find grace to help us when we need it most”. These words are key to your confidence in prayer because it tells us: 

1) GOD is NOT AFRAID of HONEST prayers!

2) God exemplifies grace and mercy so He will NOT kill you for entering his presence (through prayer) uninvited (Reference: It was said in the Bible story of Esther that no human on Earth, not even the queen could enter the presence of the earthly king who sat on his royal throne UNLESS they were summoned and to do so without being summoned could mean losing your life). Thankfully, the King (GOD) who created the heavens and earth, gives us an open invitation to approach His throne and hear from His Heart. 

3) You will find mercy! Translation: God not only HEARS you but He UNDERSTANDS what you’re going through and He is willing and ready to pardon your sins and help you get back up on your feet again. 

4) Here’s where grace and mercy collaborate—the Bible says we will “find grace to help us in our time of need” which means God hears your prayers, He understands your unique situation and He WILL answer your prayer according to His will (what’s best for you and others). 

The power of prayer is amazing! I have seen lives change through people who when the storms of life arose, went to God in prayer and found not only solace but answers. Now the key  to remember is, it (the answers) may not always happen in your life exactly when you wish but here’s a surefire saying passed down through the generations in my family—“God may not come when you want Him to but He’s ALWAYS ON TIME”! 

Can I get a “Hallelujah, Amen”? 

I hope this post encourages you to press on in your individual journey and to, if you have not already, seek a saving relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ (The Way, The Truth and The Life). He is your Savior, Redeemer and the Truest friend you will ever find on Earth and in Heaven.

Now you know I cannot close this post without sharing a song, right? 

I would like to share with you music by Wayne Watson, a Christian recording artist who sings the song, “When God’s People Pray.” 

May God bless you, protect you, surround you with His love and keep you in His care.



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