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Faith Filled Friday: Prayer is an Awesome Thing!

September 2, 2022

By Nancy Chapman September 2, 2022

Prayer is an awesome thing! Just think! We can go immediately into the presence of a righteous, holy God. The door is wide open! We have “a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 12:14-14). Jesus is sympathetic with our weaknesses: He knows what it’s like to live in our sinful world as ‘the Man Christ Jesus.’

Because he does understand, we are bidden to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We can pray with confidence, knowing we come before God through grace: none of us could ever deserve such a high, lofty privilege! Before the “throne of grace,” we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Grace is getting what we Do Not deserve. Mercy is NOT getting what we DO deserve.

I heard a story about a little girl who asked her dad, “Daddy, why do you always bow your head before you preach?” He answered, “Sweetheart, I’m asking God to help me preach a good sermon.” With a confused look on her face she said, “Why doesn’t God ever answer your prayer?”

A teenage girl had this take on whether or not God hears our prayers: “Sometimes He says ‘Yes,’ sometimes he says ‘No,’ sometimes he says, ‘Wait,’ but there are other times when he says ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ [I think I’ve gotten that last comment more times than I’m aware of! ct]

God does answer prayer for those who truly seek him. The Bible is full of promises for those who pray. One of my favorites in the Old Testament is, “Call on me and I will answer thee and show these great and mighty things which thou knoweth not” (Jeremiah 33:3). In the New Testament, I read, “He is able to do exceeding abundantly (super abundantly) above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). “With God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Hannah prayed for a child and the Lord gave her “exceeding abundantly above” what she asked. The great Prophet Samuel was born (1 Samuel 1:11-20). But that is not the end of the story! The Lord blessed Hannah with three more sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21).

Elijah prayed that it would not rain because of Israel’s great sin of idolatry. Read the whole story in 1 Kings chapters 17 and 18. James gives a brief summary many years later. “Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to the passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not for the space of three years and six months. He prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth fruit” (James 5:17-18).

Follow the apostles through the Book of Acts and see incredible answers to prayer. After Peter and John had been commanded not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus, they met with other believers and prayed for boldness to preach and miracles to be done “by the name of thy Holy Child Jesus” (Acts 4:23-31). Prayer was answered over and over in the lives of those brave men of God. Peter was miraculously delivered from prison while the church prayed; read about it in Acts 12:6-19. Neither time nor space will allow me to tell all the things the Lord did through those men energized by the Holy Spirit and prayer. It would be worthwhile to read if for yourself.

I read the story of a woman who earnestly prayed for her rebellious young son who left home and became involved in a life of sin, drunkenness, and debauchery. However, his mother never gave up on him, and poured her heart and soul into praying for him. In answer to her prayers, God saved her son and worked a miracle in his life. That young man was John Newton, author of the hymn, “Amazing Grace.” The drunken sailor became the sailor-preacher who brought thousands to Christ.

My mother-in-law, Rhoda Chapman, believed in and practiced praying. Others in the community had confidence in her prayers and often called her to pray for situations in their lives. She, along with a group of other ladies, met often to pray. In response to their prayers, God did some amazing things in that little mountain community as lives were changed and men called to preach.

My dear friend, Jeanne T., shared this story with me. “Never underestimate the power of prayer! My mind wandered to a little old Irish woman by the name of Olive Melinda McClelland (deceased). God is still answering my grandmother’s prayers. Unsaved family members were a burden on her heart, and she was faithful to call each by name in prayer. She was well acquainted with prayer. Grandmother prayed in the berry patches, fields, and summer showers with us running to the tin roof shelter from the rain. The barn would be filled with praise and the shouting for the much needed rain. I bet the apple trees in the hills are still swaying in praise to grandmother’s praises going up to God. She always covered her head with her apron whether kneeling or standing in prayer. Thank you, Lord, for bringing back golden memories – the power of prayer!

What a testimony to leave behind and what an encouragement to pray! I’m confident that Mrs. McClellan, Joe’s mom, and that group of prayer warriors in my home community were some of God’s special children. They never made headlines on earth or earned places of honor, but I believe they will be moved to the front of the line in Heaven!

If there is one thing in which most of us fall short, it’s in the area of prayer. That should not be so! Prayer is our connection to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the source of power to withstand Satan’s attacks. Prayer is the source of strength to do the work God has given us all to do. Prayer is the source of comfort when we face disappointment, pain, and sorrow. Shame on us for not taking advantage of our access to the Throne of Grace. We and those we love are the losers.

Note: This is written in the first person, but that’s not me, it’s Nancy. The comment in brackets with my initials at the end is the only comment I made. That comment really tickled me and I plan to post it on Facebook.

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