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The Power of Prayer

November 7, 2007

I received the following devotional from Thought for the Day and thought it especially meaningful today as I have been discussing this topic with my cyber friends lately.. I wanted to share it with you.


One of Erma Bombeck’s favorite Jewish grandmother stories involves a grandmother who took her grandson to the beach. She put a sun hat on him and then dozed off to sleep as the little boy played with his bucket and shovel in the sand. Suddenly, a large wave came in and dragged the child out to sea. The grandmother woke and was devastated. She fell to her knees and prayed, “God, if you’ll save my grandson, I promise I’ll make it up to you. I’ll join whatever club you want me to. I’ll volunteer at the hospital, give to the poor and do anything that makes you happy.”

Suddenly, another huge wave came in and tossed her grandson on the beach at her feet. She noticed there was color in his cheeks and his eyes were bright. He was alive!

As she stood up, however, she seemed to be upset. She put her hands on her hips, looked skyward, and said sharply, “He had a hat, you know.”

Though we may not always get everything we want when we pray, the Bible teaches a great deal about the power of prayer. Prayer truly makes a difference. As James said, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16).

We see it happen time and again in the scriptures. Abraham’s servant prayed and Rebekah appeared. Hannah prayed and Samuel was born. Isaiah and Hezekiah prayed, and 185,000 Assyrians were slain. After three years of drought, Elijah prayed again and rain came. The church in Jerusalem prayed and Peter was released from prison. That’s just a small sampling of answered prayer in the Bible.

We’ve seen it happen in our own lives as well. We do not receive everything we ask for (even the apostle Paul didn’t), but we have seen God’s answers time and again — for sickness to be healed, for safety through difficult times, for the wisdom to make right decisions, for needs to be provided.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (I John 5:14)

Praise be to God — our Heavenly Father — who is willing to hear us and cares enough about us to answer our prayers. Most of us have been more than willing over the years to carry our burdens to God and tell Him what we want. May I suggest that you take some time today to give God your thanks for the many times He has heard and answered.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
from Thought for the Day. Used with permission.

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