by Abiding Love
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
The following mindset has been before me many times. A person is sick or troubled. I ask if that person has prayed about. I get the nonchalant answer, “I haven’t really prayed in three years.” “After all, God is going to do what he’s going to do whether I pray or not.”
There is actually an element of truth in that thought. God says in Isaiah 46:10, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” God does already know what He will do before we pray.
So why bother to pray?
Because God promises that our prayers make a difference. James 5:16 tells us: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” The Bible tells us about times when prayer had a direct impact on things. For example, God told a man named Hezekiah that it was time for him to die. Hezekiah prayed for God to spare his life and God healed him and gave him 15 more years to live (2 Kings:20).
Somewhere in our puny minds, these two truths don’t seem to fit together. How can the God who plans and controls the future tell us that our prayers affect what he does and what happens? I have no clue. But that’s ok. All I need to know is that I can trust God with childlike faith. And if he tells us that our prayers make a difference, then I know they make a difference.
So, pray boldly, even if you can’t fully understand how your prayers sync with God’s sovereign will. Pray boldly, not because you fully understand how prayer works, but because you are fully convinced in Jesus Christ that God loves you and God will keep His promises.
Lord, I am amazed that you give me the privilege to pray and promise that my prayers make a difference. Help me to be confident that you will hear and answer when I pray. Amen.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
November 30, 2022
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