Saturday, January 30, 2010

Talk About the Power of Prayer!

I don't know why I continue to be amazed at God's Providence and Provision but, silly mortal that I am, I sit slack-jawed time after time when God "comes through for me."  Selfish, finite way to look at it, I know, but sometimes when I pray, I feel as if I'm crossing my fingers or rollling the dice -- "I may get what I want; I may not." 

Truth is, prayer is never about what I want, and should never be.  As one who is committed to serving the Living God, my prayers should be petitions for God to work His Will in my life and the lives of those for whom I pray, and for us to be conformed to it.  Praying for those in Haiti, for instance, changes my heart to one of outreach, compassion, empathy for a country of complete strangers.  Praying for the mother who has lost her best friend, her children and her husband in one tragic turn of events, changes my heart to one that yearns for her to trust God implicitly throughout her tragedy, anticipates her recovery and the glory it will bring my Lord, and convicts my heart of its priorities.

My latest experience with prayer comes from praying for "justice," or at least what I have always been taught is justice -- "law," perhaps "The Law."  The morning I dressed in my "Righteous Garb," awaking early to pray things developed according to God's Will, I was left sitting, my voice unheard, my presence unnoticed.  At the end of the day, I could see God had settled it without requiring unnecessary anguish and guilt, and I tried very hard to convince myself that was enough.  It was very good, really, but in my heart of hearts, it was not enough; it left me fearful, uncertain, and closer to the fire I'd just escaped.  All along, I knew in my head there was so much more to this than what I could see, but I wanted to be able to feel that in my heart.  I knew it was not God's place to satisfy me; I knew there were so many sides to this issue that " the break" I was looking for could have eternal implications for someone else.  I prayed daily for God to change my heart.

An "innocuous" visit from an old acquaitance was a gracious gift from my Heavenly Father!  In no way was God obligated to me; it was my task to continue praying and supplicating myself to Him in order that my heart might be right with Him.  But this visitor, in her seemingly inane chit-chat revealed to me that perhaps, things were not as they seemed -- that God had handled this "situation" in such a non-invasive, positive, open-ended way that all was not "lost," as I had deemed.  As I sit back rehashing the details of our conversation, I see things falling into perfect place, my hope is renewed, and my heart is filled with joy!  I marvel once again, stupidly, at God's Providence, Wisdom and Grace, His desire to even see our human need and provide us with answers from His Hand!  I am ashamed at my inability to accept in my heart, what I knew was God's well-orchestrated plan, but overwhelmingly grateful at His Mercy in allowing me insight to it.  Prayer changes things; prayer changes me!

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