Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Power of Prayer

As a little boy I thought that there was only one way to do it. After my bath my mother and I would kneel beside my bed and I would pray. It was very short, but it was my prayer. As I grew up I realized that prayer was more than something to do at the side of my bed at days end and more than blessing the food before we ate.

Developing from child to young man in the body and in the world I realized so also did my prayer. It continues to grow and develop and so does my understanding of this very powerful dialogue with God. It is more than just a saying to me; it is my most heartfelt conviction, that in fact prayer does change things.

I recall a hot summer day being on my knees in the floor, in the stifling heat, head bowed, body bent and calling out to God for strength. He answered.

I remember a cool autumn night underneath a clear sky, wind gently blowing against my face, praying that God would remove me from a place and situation that I didn’t know how to handle. He answered.

I remember a white winter day, I desperately wanted water. It wasn’t because I was thirsty, but because my family needed to be clean. He answered.

Moreover, there was the spring that I was too overwhelmed and I couldn’t pray to go on so others prayed for me. I kept on going. He answered.

In all seasons I know that he answers prayers.

Prayer is powerful, even phenomenal.

I grow and move about the world, I have noticed most recently that my prayers have moved from simply my lips and thoughts to my touch.

It is in my fingers now. Prayer has extended itself to my arms and body extensions.

First, just a few weeks ago with a stranger. I saw something in his eyes. I heard just a little of it in his voice. So before we departed ways we hugged and when we did I immediately began to pray on, for and over him. He will never know. But I know that God answers prayers. And I believe that man needed an answer.

Then it happened in the most remarkable way. While I had such a great time on my trip to Mississippi there is a single instance that I think stands out to me more than the others, and there were several significant ones.

But what I don’t think I will ever forget is when I hugged my young cousin goodbye. The heat from his hands on my back and mine on his was love. I rubbed his back and held him close. I know in that moment, God had embraced both of us. I prayed for him. I prayed for the both of us. I love my cousin and I know that God answers prayers.