“The power of prayer is on the end of the hearer, not the speaker.” Jodi Detrick
We sometimes feel that if we could just muster up a truly powerful prayer, then our prayers would be answered in the way that we desire. I don’t know about you, but I just love a happy ending. A story with a pretty bow, tying all the ends together. Neat and tidy. But this isn’t life here on earth. And sometimes we are simply in the middle of a messy story that God hasn’t finished writing.
Reflecting on the death and resurrection of Christ, I always feel for the disciples who had such great plans for their Savior. They imagined a kingdom here on earth. They desired for Jesus to make right what was wrong in their present moment. You and I are really no different. We want the same thing. We want justice, healing, kindness, love, provision, and so much more.
I felt like the disciples this week when I sat in two separate doctor’s offices, one for my husband, one for my daughter. I thought: This isn’t the plan. Surely my daughter isn’t going to suffer just like her father has for years. Emily received the diagnosis of RF negative polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Physical suffering is not what I want for my 15-year-old daughter.
However, here we are living in a broken world and suffering is everywhere. Yes, I will pray that God heals her—I know He can—I also know that her healing doesn’t depend on my powerful prayer. It depends on the power of God. The power of His resurrection. The power of His name.
I also know that there’s something amazing about suffering. Through our trials we have this incredible choice to develop the character of Christ that brings life or a bitterness that brings death.
In our sorrow we can draw near to God, and He will draw near to us. James 4:8
Paul says it best:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philippians 3:7-10 (KJV)
The heart of this prayer is what’s truly powerful: Knowing Jesus is everything. If my plans are lost. Jesus. If my heart is broken. Jesus. If people despise me. Jesus. If I’m suffering. Jesus.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings. Knowing Jesus is everything!
Knowing Jesus, his resurrection, his sufferings.#powerfulprayer
By: Angela Howard
Angela is an ordained minister and writer working as the Director of Mental Health and Communications for His Heart Foundation, a non-profit serving local churches. Her book: How to Love Your Crazy Family is on Amazon and you can connect with her on her blog at noordinarydays.com.
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