Thursday, February 2, 2012
The Power of Prayer
My wife and I planned our wedding down to the smallest details, yet when I looked into my new bride's eyes the moment caught me off-guard and filled me with a joy I could not have expected. I imagine that it is much the same with an expectant parent who has planned the route to the hospital and has a bag packed, but the first moment of holding your child is a moment that knocks you off your feet and makes grown men cry.
An extraordinary moment occurred for me yesterday. It was in the midst of the mundane and unexpected. I stopped by the church to finish up a few things. I had walked in and out of the office at least twice never paying any attention to an innocuous piece of paper on the counter. Finally my bag was packed, my work was done and I was on my way out the office. I had walked well-past that piece of paper with names upon it and I would never have seen it, except by chance.
Cheryl, our administrative assistant, called out after me, "Oh, Scott, wait. I still need [someone]'s phone number." I turned and pulled out my cell phone giving her the number and just happened to glance down. There on the counter top was a piece of paper with names all over it. At the top it had my name and said "Prayer Vigil." Had I been thinking of it or had I been watching the list grow I might not have given it a second thought, but in an unsuspecting moment I was thrown off my feet. I stared at it and needed a moment before I spoke in disbelief, "This is for me." For a moment I thought I might cry as I found myself overwhelmed by this outpouring of love and support.
What prayer will do cannot be known. It is mysterious that way. Yet, I know that prayer has very real power. Yesterday prayer filled me with peace, hope and joy. Prayer brings communities together and, I believe, helps us to see where God is leading us- when we take time to listen and watch. And, most importantly, prayer draws us closer to God and helps us make sense of what God is doing in this world.
My sincere hope is that we would not just pray when we see something big headed our way (something we can plan for), but that we would find time for God in the mundane moments of life. That we wouldn't just pray in advance of a surgery or impending trouble, but that we would pray in a way that makes us more familiar with God and opens us up to those extraordinary moments when God will knock us over with peace, love and joy.