Monday, September 7, 2015

The REAL Power of Prayer

I often hear, it seems like multiple times each day, about the power of prayer. I have to admit, I tend to stay away from such discussion, not because I do not believe in the power of prayer, but because I do not believe that prayer is designed for us to exert our will upon the world. The REAL power of prayer is in its ability to change our hearts, not our surroundings. If we are willing to be honest about what WE mean by the power of prayer, would we not be forced to admit that EVERY time we talk about answered prayer, or the power of prayer, is when we (or someone else) receives EXACTLY what they were praying for? It is as if we believe (and many actually do) that just because we pray more, pray harder, and that many others pray more and harder with us, that God will eventually do exactly as we wish.

Now consider what Jesus said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him DENY HIMSELF, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Where is the “deny himself” in the way we consider the power of prayer? Even when we are not praying directly for our particular blessing, are we not still praying for our will rather than God’s will, when our prayer should ALWAYS be for the will of God. Sometimes He will say “yes” and sometimes He will say “No”, but the real power of prayer is when OUR hearts are changed rather than someone’s sickness, financial standing, marital status, or other personal suffering ends.

It isn’t that I believe we should want our friends or family to suffer, but when we focus so much energy on making any and every struggle of life disappear, we lose focus on what we should really desire for our friends and family. Maybe a ‘better’ prayer would be that they (and we) have time to repent of our sins before it is too late. Maybe a ‘better’ prayer would be that they (and we) accept that our time on Earth is about preparing for eternal life with God and in God, so that our suffering, no matter how horrific, is but a glimpse of the eternal life that awaits us. If we spent more time preparing our souls for eternity with God, then even the suffering on Earth would be seen for what it opportunity to trust in the Lord with all our heart.

The REAL Power of Prayer is in repentance, not physical blessings.

1 comment:

Fr Christopher Moody said...

But Father, if I name it I claim it, right? (Rhetorical)