This is a request blog from a friend. We were sitting around the other day, and I asked him to give me a topic. He asked if this was for the blog, and I said yes. Without hesitation he said the power of prayer and how it has worked in my life. Wow…ok…direct and to the point. Here we go, James, this one is for you.
Let me say right off the bat that I am a big believer in prayer. I was raised in the church, first in the catholic church and then started going to a reformed episcopal church in middle school and have been in all sorts of non-denominational churches since. First of all, this is not a catholic vs. protestant thing, so please be mindful in the comments. Giving you my background is only for a point of reference.
I have always prayed for help and guidance. I ask God to help me sort through the circumstances of my life whenever I get into a jam. (And I have been in quite a few jams in my life) Sometimes, I just talk to Him like he is a good friend sitting beside me, because let’s face it, He is right here. It reminds me of the old hymn “In the Garden” when it says, “And He walks with me, and He talks to me, And He tells me I am His own…” (written by C. Austin Miles in 1912)
I am His own, so I take the things in my life to Him. Unfortunately, I don’t always do this, sometimes, I can go for long stretches of time without a word to Him. I am not sure why. Maybe, because of my stubbornness, I think I can do it all on my own, that I don’t need any help and guidance. That has never really worked in my favor. Maybe there have been times that I have been mad at God about something and so I will sulk and cross my arms on my chest, shake my head and refuse to speak to Him like I am a bratty kid. Again, this has not worked out so well. But after I stop acting like a punk and I go back to Him the most amazing thing happens. He is right there, ready to get back into conversation, to forgive and forget and help me on my path. God is truly amazing.
I have prayed in all sorts of ways. I have used prayers that other people have written in a prayer book, I have prayed through the psalms and like I said, I have just opened my mouth and whatever comes out is what He hears. I don’t think there is a “right” way to pray. I believe in using whatever helps you in your daily walk with Him. It is intimate and one on one. Even if all you can do is make a noise that nobody else can understand…He does and that’s all that matters.
James asked me to write about the power of prayer and how it has worked in my life, I will give you an example. I had been in Hawaii for a couple of weeks. I had a job that I transferred with, had found a great church and was making some friends. It was going well. Before moving, I had been on nonspeaking terms with God, and made the decision to change that. Anyway, even though things were going well in paradise, I started to feel doubt. Was I in the right place? Do I belong in Hawaii? Blah, Blah, Blah… a certain deceiver was wreaking havoc with my mind. I walked down to the beach one evening to watch the sunset and pray. I asked was this place really for me. Did I make a mistake? Please give me some sort of sign.
I looked down in the sand and saw a small piece of coral shaped like a heart. I immediately felt the answer as I picked up that piece of coral. I felt calm and relaxed. I knew I made the right choice. I have never doubted my decision to move again. I still have the coral; it sits on my bookcase as a reminder that God listens, hears us and answers us. It might not be in our timeframe, but it will be in the perfect time.
I would encourage you to seek God and talk to Him. If could be about anything…there is nothing you can’t bring to Him. He is not shocked by anything you might have to say. But after you say it, be on the lookout, you never know where you may find His answer.
***Question for the comments…How do you feel about prayer? Tell me your thoughts, but please be mindful of others. Do you use a prayer book? Just speak to God like a regular conversation?
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