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
Lately, I’ve been learning more about prayer. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know. Well, maybe I should clarify that to knowing about “effective prayer.”
Today, we had what looked like a family crisis looming ahead of it. Confusion, negativity, and chaos had its foot in the door. While I was bemoaning the situation, my young son walked over to me and said, “Maybe we need to pray about this.”
“Maybe,” I said, and kept talking about what all could possibly happen. As we got more news, the situation looked grim. Then my oldest son (who had not heard the comment about prayer) came to me and said, “Mom, could we pray about this?”
Well, I took the hint and we all joined hands – down to the three year old in out midst and we prayed out loud together.
Within a half an hour, our prayer was answered in a most unexpected way, but answered it was. What an eye-opening experience for the group of us. I’d like to say it was a learning experience for the younger children in our household, but I have to admit, it was one for me as well.
How often to I delay prayer? Why is it not the first thing I do?
I’ve been reading about “flash prayers.” Quick little prayers you say as you go about your day. I found these prayers by Norman Vincent Peal.
When someone on the street looks tired or sorrowful:
God, put your hand on that person and lift their spirit. Comfort them in whatever makes them sad.
When unexpected bad news hits:
Lord, help me to take this. Help me to meet it with dignity and courage. Don’t let my faith sag. Lord, I need you now. Be with me.
When you’re feeling stressed:
God, don’t let me get too frazzled. Keep me calm and doing one thing at a time. I feel your presence. Thank you.
When you read about a family that has suffered a tragedy:
God, with your great love bring comfort and peace to that sad family.
When someone is frustrating you:
God, give me self-control. Don’t let me say anything I will regret later. Also, keep me from looking like I am fighting for control. Help me to say the right thing now.
I used to think prayers needed to be worded just so, said in the right way, in the right place. I’m learning prayer can be anywhere, anytime, and about anything. Whether praying for ourselves or others – God knows the intent of our heart and the needs at hand. Even a simple “Help me” can be an effective prayer.
For those of us who face daily challenges, prayer can be the foundation of our day. Even on the difficult days, prayer is something we can always do.
So – flash a prayer today. Cover your world with prayer.
Be prepared for the unexpected as prayer becomes second nature and you grow closer to God, depending on Him to walk with you through your day.
Father God - Thank you that we need no complicated words or phrases to talk to you. How reassuring it is to know that you will hear us when we cry out to You! Amen and amen.
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