One morning this past week before entering into my devotional time, I opened my morning ‘newspaper’ to see what was going on in the lives of folks I care about. Facebook seems to be the ‘middle‐aged’ folks’ newspaper…at least it’s quickly become mine. I immediately saw three people dear to me requesting prayers for God to help them through a difficulty they were facing that day. It’s troubling to see people we love go through difficult times, isn’t it? I quickly came to an assumption. If these people didn’t think prayer worked, why would they send out a public request asking for folks to lift their name up to God? A second thought crossed my mind…has there ever been a time I’ve seen someone request prayers and I told them I’d be praying for them, but never did? I believe we need to be very cautious when telling others we’re praying for them. Anyone who requests prayers and is told they’re receiving them are anticipating answers from God. If we’ve said we’re praying, but we really aren’t, God isn’t being asked to intervene, heavenly power isn’t received and the one making the request may believe they’ve received their answer, when in actuality they haven’t. By far one of the most precious gifts we have is the gift of prayer. I’ll not pretend to understand all the complexities associated with prayer being asked or answered, but I really like what Charles Stanley said one time in a devotion I read. He said when we beseech God, He doesn’t readily respond with, “No”. In some instances He’ll say, “Yes”. If He so chooses not to say “Yes”, He’ll say, “Not yet”. If these first two options don’t appeal to Him, He’ll end up saying, “I’ve got something better for you.” I really like Charles’ take on prayer! Does prayer really change things? Absolutely! If it didn’t, why would we take the time to do it?
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.