Thursday, May 3, 2012

One Person and Prayer


I had the privilege early this morning of attending a National Day of Prayer Event in our community.

As our speaker, a senior pastor in a downtown church,   began, I wondered about the timeliness of his topic. Only a few moments had passed, when I realized how incredibly powerful and especially appropriate his message was.

I’ll paraphrase a bit. He said that in our culture we tend to believe that (I think have this phrase verbatim): “More is powerful; less is worse; big is important; and small is insignificant.”

And yes, we do. It’s all about more and big in just about every arena.

Our speaker’s wife recently worked in Philadelphia for a week and had the opportunity to visit Independence Hall. She sent him a picture of the room in which the Declaration of Independence was drafted, the “most important document of freedom” ever conceived. He observed how surprisingly small the room was.

He quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes…”

I thought of Ann Voskamp and her Holy Experience and because all of life flames with God.

How she writes to give thanks for the little things and how that magnifies our experience of God and His grace.

Then our speaker testified how as an adolescent he questioned a Sunday School teacher about the meaning of “The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

She said, “It means your prayers matter.”

And right there was his point. One person’s prayers matter. Even when we don’t feel like they do. Even when we don’t see immediate results, the prayer of one person when offered from a heart turned to God can work much.

So when we pray for the big stuff, like “God please turn a country back to you,” we can feel our prayers small. But they aren’t. “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with (James 5:16 The Message).

As our speaker said, it’s easy to slip into thinking, ““More is powerful; less is worse; big is important; and small is insignificant.”

But one person’s prayers matter.

Today, let those prayers be yours. 

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