Sunday, March 8, 2009

Underestimating the Power of Prayer

This week, I thought I’d be writing about Joseph, but tonight, God showed me I needed to share with you my testimony about how He has worked in my life through the power of prayer & how prayer can make just as powerful an impact in your life. In the spring of 2004, three years after we married, my husband and I learned I had a disorder that makes getting pregnant extremely difficult. At this point, we did not ask for prayer from anyone except our parents. I was embarrassed and afraid of what others would think.

In April 2005, I became pregnant, and we were thrilled. Then, two weeks later, I began to miscarry the baby. I remember spending many days at home, crying out to God and asking why He was taking this baby from us. In December 2005, I became pregnant again, only to miscarry almost immediately. At this point, after a year and a half of treatments, my husband and I began seeking God’s will as to whether He wanted us to start the adoption process. After going through more tests and learning there were other medical conditions to hinder us from having a child, it seemed God had given us His answer—we were at the end of our road to have a biological child of our own.

Although we were sad at God’s answer, we were excited about the prospect of adopting. A few weeks into the new year, I went to see my doctor one last time for tests to make sure the miscarriage was complete. To my surprise, my doctor sat down with me and said that I had been given some wrong information. He explained that he believed there was still a very good chance we could have a baby. I laughed, thinking that God has a great sense of humor. Just when I thought I’d figured Him out & had accepted His decision, He changed the plans.

In January 2006, I went to the prayer conference at my childhood church. We were told to name out loud to God those things that we wanted most, even things that we had been too ashamed to mention to anyone else. For the first time, in my small group, I asked everyone to pray for me to conceive a child. That day, we prayed for a miracle. Then, I shared with my church’s ladies Bible study group, and they began to pray for that miracle. My mother’s prayer group learned of our desire & prayed weekly for that miracle. And all our families prayed daily for that miracle.

In April 2006, I became pregnant a third time. This time, we were cautious in our excitement, but as the weeks turned into months, I knew this was God’s answer to my prayers as well as to the prayers of so many others. On December 29, 2006, Wyatt Douglas was born. Almost two years later on October 27, 2008, Amelia Rose and Emerson John were born. They are the light of my life and a daily reminder of what power we have in Christ when we are surrounded by a circle of others’ prayers.

Please understand the message I’m intending to share with this testimony—God does as He wills and His ways are perfect even if we do not understand them. As Scripture tells us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9). I do not understand why He grants some of my requests but denies others, why He heals some people and allows others to die of their illness. But, I still believe in prayer’s power and that Christians in general seriously underestimate that power.

When was the last time you were daily beating down the door of your prayer closet? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us we should “pray without ceasing.” If we truly believed prayer worked, if we truly believed God heard & considered our prayerful petitions, we would obey this command and be facedown every day, several times a day.

Know that even when God doesn’t answer our prayers as we desire, prayer will always change our hearts as we develop a close, right relationship with Him and as our desires begin to conform with His desires for us. But, prayer can sometimes change God’s heart (2 Kings 20). I know of a young girl who just last year had a seizure and her initial tests showed a dark spot on her brain, but a subsequent test showed the spot had disappeared. Those of us who prayed for her received a blessing to know we had been a part of God’s miracle. Think of the blessings we miss out on when we don’t pray: God still works His will, but our lack of prayer excludes us from participation in His works.

If Jesus, himself, thought it important to pray so often throughout the New Testament, shouldn’t that tell us something? Focus this week on laying your petitions before God’s throne.

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