SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)
Call to me and I will answer you.
While crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner, F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first class passengers. At the captain's request he spoke on "Answered Prayer." An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, "What did you think of Dr. Meyer's sermon?" He answered, "I didn't believe a word of it." That afternoon Meyer went to speak to the steerage passengers. Many of the listeners at his morning address went along, including the agnostic, who claimed he just wanted to hear "what the babbler had to say."
Before starting for the service, the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket. On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep. Her hands were open. In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms. After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of the pieces of fruit. "You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile. "Yes, sir," she replied, "My Father is very good to me." "Your father? Surely your father can't be still alive!" "Praise God," she replied, "He is very much alive." "What do you mean?" pressed the agnostic. She explained, "I'll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I suppose I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!" The agnostic was speechless. Later he was converted to Christ. Yes, praying in God's will brings an answer.
Facing a challenge? Pray. Dealing with bad circumstances? Pray. Struggling under a burden? Pray. Having some doubts? Pray. Life seems out of control? Pray. Worry consuming every waking moment? Pray. Aches and pains too much? Pray. When everything else fails … pray.
Why is it that we turn to pray only as the last resort? Why do we needlessly carry a burden by ourselves? Do we think that the problem is too small or too big to bother God?
Prayer is fundamental to our relationship with God. Prayer should be more than a few, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” or “Good food, good meat, good Lord let’s eat.” Prayer is placing ourselves into God’s reality. Prayer brings our spirit into harmony with God’s purpose. Prayer is opening ourselves up to God’s possibilities. Prayer lifts our eyes off of ourselves so that we can have a better view the Kingdom of God.
Prayer carries the heavy load or the lightest. Prayer lifts the biggest burden or the smallest. Prayer eliminates the cobwebs of the soul. Prayer turns lives around. Prayer strengthens the weak. God is only a prayer away.
Teach us to pray at all times and in all circumstances … and may it start today.