I think it’s easy for the devil to whisper in our ear that somehow our prayers aren’t that important.
He whispers thoughts like these,
“What difference will your prayers make really?”
“So many people are trying to get God’s attention, why should He take time to listen to you?”
“You’re just talking to the air.”
“The Creator of the Universe has a lot more to be concerned with than your personal life.”
“Bad things are still going to happen in this world, so why bother praying?”
And the list goes on and on and on…………..
Like an insecure friend, the devil tries to convince us that God is just too busy, too preoccupied, and too important to turn and listen when we talk.
I have a sign on my deck that was brought to me from Zimbabwe by a friend.
It says, “Prayer Changes Things.”
I have a picture, and I’m going to find it when I have time, that shows Nick standing right by this wall hanging.
We held on to this promise that “prayer changes things” all throughout Nick’s fight with cancer.
And then Nick died.
So, it would be very easy to think, “Well, I guess the devil is right. Look how far prayer got our family.”
But, here’s what I want to say to all of you today.
I believe prayer changes people more than prayer changes our tough situations.
Jesus pleaded with God to be able to avoid the agony of the cross, but in the end we all know what happened.
Did that mean God didn’t hear Jesus?
Did that mean God didn’t care?
God was right there, listening and giving strength to the One He loved deeply so that His perfect plan could be make complete through Him.
I believe God had a perfect plan even in Nick’s suffering.
I am so thankful for verses like II Cor. 4:17 that promise,
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So this morning as I was reading in Psalm 18 about David being in a dark place of fear and doubt as his enemies were attacking, I was comforted by this verse,
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
There is a troubling situation in the lives of some of our dear friends right this minute, and one of our sons is especially upset and confused about all that is happening.
As I sat with him last night for about half an hour and tried to calm him down and help him see that sometimes in this life we don’t understand what God is doing, I told him that he needs to be praying, “What can l learn from this? What are you trying to teach me and all of us, God?”
Because in the end, it’s the condition of our heart that really matters.
And I believe that when we say “Prayer Changes Things,” that’s what it really changes.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.”
He never promised that clinging to Him would make life easy.
As we baptize the girls at jail, I was always tell them, ‘This isn’t the secret to an easy life. When you come up out of the water, you are still going to have to face the consequences of your mistakes and the devil is still going to be prowling around trying to take you down,, but the difference will be this: the Holy Spirit will be in you as a Comforter, Protector, and Guide.”
If you have ever prayed but felt as if your prayers were hitting the ceiling, I challenge you to transform the way you look at answered prayer.
Maybe it’s in the silence, the very darkness of your pain that God is working the most powerfully.
I’ll never understand Nick’s cancer or his death while I walk on this earth.
I could easily get angry this morning just dwelling on the suffering he endured and the sadness our family still feels from his absence.
But, I am claiming verses like Roman 15:13 that say that if I trust in the God of Hope He will fill me with all joy and peace so that I may overflow with hope!
That’s what I want to do.
I want to live a life overflowing with Hope.
Nick is in the arms of God, safe, happy, and overflowing with more than hope…….he doesn’t need hope anymore…….he walks in the presence of the King.
But we still need hope.
And God longs for us to overflow in it.
That’s how prayer has changed things at our house.
I know my prayers matter.
And yours do too.
No matter how confusing the situation, God is working.
Turn to Him today.
I love you all so much!