The Power of Prayer
I wrote a prayer for the year 2007. I asked the Lord for wisdom, discipline, and patience. I asked Him to guide my steps and listed my desires for my family and career. My heart beat in anticipation as I folded the paper and placed it at the beginning of my favorite psalm. Surely great things were soon to happen!
I reread my prayer numerous times before deciding to concentrate on God’s Word rather than my own.
It was a good decision. That year was wrought with challenges. I lost my last surviving grandparent. I was laid off from my job. Family members were at odds with one another.
I’ve always looked forward to the promise of a new year but 2008 began much like 2007 ended. I flitted from one job to another; unable to recreate the same level of satisfaction I had in the position I lost. I was in an accident involving a semitrailer and required physical therapy. My life was in a perpetual state of upheaval. It seemed God had turned His face from me.
One morning, while studying, the prayer fell from its place in my Bible. I unfolded it and scanned through the words, marveling at my naivete. Did I really think writing this would usher greatness into my life?
I contemplated throwing the prayer away, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I placed it in a desk drawer. Before closing, I caught a glimpse of a sentence I had written: “I pray that my brother grows into a responsible, disciplined man.” Since then, my brother had matured from a self-centered, wild child to earning a much deserved management position with a respectable organization. He was considering others in his actions and thoughts. And he had asked a lovely young woman to be his wife.
I read my prayer again, this time with an open heart and mind. I had prayed for my parents' love to grow as they grew older. They were spending more time together and showing more affection than I had ever witnessed. I had prayed my sister deliverance from the addictions that were destroying her life. She had since completed rehabilitation and married a compassionate man.
Finally, I read what I had prayed for myself: wisdom, discipline and patience. Prayer had become a daily need. Instead of just reading the Bible, I became a student of the Word and studied for better understanding. My experiences from the previous year helped me empathize with and comfort others going through similar trials.
I now marveled at my own self-centeredness. I had spent my time reacting to the things happening to me instead of appreciating the miracles occurring around me. I folded the paper and placed it back inside my Bible. God hadn’t turned His Face from me. It was quite the opposite.
My prayers were being answered in His time and in His way.