Discussion: I Know Prayer Changes Things
December 10, 2021
My mother used to play the piano and sing this song “I know prayer changes things”. Could the words of this song be applied to occasions I didn’t understand, while looking for the evidences? It was when I had run out of words and tears and nothing had changed. I can recall the only word I could say came out as a whisper. That word was “help” in lowercase letters, a whisper. I would like to say that it was only done a few times in my life. But since I’m being transparent, this has been the scene quite a few times over the past years.
What is prayer exactly; it is a conversation with God? This is my definition throughout this discussion. Prayer is a conversation with God. Let’s just stop there for a moment. We worship a God which sees and knows all. I think about the times I felt God had let me down. The eviction notice arrived, the car repossessed, and the surgeon who had to go ahead with the operation all after praying for specific results. What happened with my communication with God? Was he listening? Did he care… what?
When I think of my eviction notice, which was years ago, and what I felt when the notice was delivered in person. With regard to the car repossession; as much as I wanted to call the police to report, my car was being stolen. All I could do was look, as the tow truck pulled out of the parking lot of my apartment complex with my car trailing behind it. What I did instead was call for a bus schedule. Doing those past years of my life when it appeared God didn’t answer, it took a while for me to talk to him again. He had let me down, plus I was very busy trying to find a place to live. I must admit, riding the bus gave me an opportunity to do a lot of thinking.
After being evicted, I rented a room in a delightful place. It covered everything, even meals. This was the first time in years, since the start of my adult life, I could breathe. I didn’t have to worry about the winter utility bills, having enough money to buy food, which was always last on the list. Did God answer my prayers?
As we fast forward to my current life’s journey. I still encounter some situations pulling on me for tears and seems I only have strength to whisper “help”. But those times have been few and in between. What I do differently today is, I never ever quit talking to God. Through the years, I have learned to finish each conversation with “not my will, but let thou will be done” and mean it. Was this hard to do? Yes, it was. As the situation got closer and I didn’t see a sign of the answer. I learned to respond “Thank you, God!” Do I still get nervous? You, bet I do. Do I even shed some tears? Yes, however, not as many?
Not talking to God left such a void in me. A void that was filled when I started talking to God again. Then, I went through a period of beating myself up for not trusting God. I decided that was why God didn’t answer my prayers. Another reason I realized, was the way I prayed. Wasn’t I specific enough? I knew I had asked specifics in my prayer… I need money for my rent and car note. Those were/are specifics.
I want to bring this out because people, in their effort to help God out, will instruct you to be more specific. “Tell God specifically, detail it, describe what you want” I did… money for my rent and car note! The conversation continues that you still weren’t specific enough. While this may be true, I think this may have been a way to justify how they felt about their unanswered prayers.
Instead, what I have learned is there are things I want for me and there are things (before the foundation of the world) God has destined for me. So now I face a decision. To hold out for what I want or trust God for what he wants for my life. Especially, those times when I couldn’t recognize anything I saw as being my answer, while still waiting for him to move.
We want God’s best, but with our conditions attached. We pray, but with (our own) answers in mind. Then pacing the floor as we regard what we see in the physical realm, rather than walking by faith. Now I see that Faith and I are walking side by side in two different dimensional realms. Faith is always carrying the true substance for the particular thing I need, which is God’s best for me.
As children, we always think we know what’s best for us. When our parents can see what is best for us, we can’t understand and assume they are mean and don’t want us to have anything. They can understand what we can’t. When we bypassed God and get what we wanted, subsequently stress, breakdowns, confusion follows in too many cases because of what we thought was best for us.
People say to pray harder. Go on a fast more often. I don’t minimize any of this if that is what you believe God is instructing you to do. What I disagree with is, if you are applying these methods to get God to grant you what you have asked. (This is my belief; please do what you believe you should). God said ‘Ask and Believe’! These were the steps he gave us. We are human and the flesh will become faint. But faith walking beside us will hold us up. I will end this discussion with a true story I heard by the late Bishop Norman Wagner.
A man he knew had called to inform him he had been asking for God to bless him with a job. He had been out of work for a while and he and his family were struggling. The man said they evicted him and he had hired a moving truck to transport their things into storage. When the mover got there, and they started moving his possessions, the truck driver asks why he was moving his things into storage. As the man told the driver his situation, he broke down.
The driver started laughing and responded, “I rarely drive the trucks because I own the company. I decided today to do this and now I know why.” The owner told the man he owned several properties and one house was vacant. After the conversation, the driver moved the man and his family into the home. They agreed the man could stay there free for three months while he looked for a job. God has a plan… always and even when we make mistakes or move in our choices, it does not take God by surprise. Meaning he still has a plan, a good plan designed for you and me! As my mother (Lorraine Lane) sang many years ago, “I Know Prayer Changes Things.”
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