To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. -- Psalms 28:1
Thursday, July 2, 2015
The Power of Prayer
My week, I hope, is about over, and, despite it being a short one, it won’t end any too soon.
Today’s verse is the subject of one of Spurgeon’s commentaries. He used the word “formalist”, meaning, I think, those who involve themselves primarily in the forms and rituals of religious activity. Cultivating discipline, whether in prayer or some other meditative form such as a tea ceremony or archery (I meditate better doing something rather than nothing), is beneficial. I can appreciate Zen. The difference for us is that we believe our practice leads to a Person.
I know that God does hear us when we pray. I know that He is not deaf to my pleas, and that He does respond -- whether my prayer moves the mountain, causes the mountain to cease to be an obstacle to me, or moves me beyond it.
Prayer is a discipline. It is a comfort. It calms us and encourages us, helps us face challenges and fears. But it is most effective when we understand that it is communication. Prayer works because it actually brings God into our situation and causes us to give Him our attention.
There have been times when I’ve said myself that there is no point in praying because surely God knows what a mess I’m in. I’m not telling Him anything He doesn’t know. And I am completely missing the point when I say that.
This is a personal anecdote. Yesterday was a bad day. I say a lot of things here, and some of it could be considered sensible advice. It got so bad that I took some of my own advice, and I prayed, and I got an answer. I saw the source of my problem. As usual, it was me. I needed to adjust the way I was thinking about a person. I did that. This morning, I was on a conference call. Everybody was happy. All was well. I was no longer in the hot seat. Just like that.
So, I want to thank the Lord for bailing me out yet again. There is power in prayer. It doesn't always work the way we might imagine, but there are answers because we are talking to God.