Monday, May 18, 2009

The What, Why, How, Purpose,and Meaning of Prayer: Part 2

Last night, I went to a bonfire out by Taylor Lake with my Lighthouse team members who I went to Paraguay with. Let me tell you, it was so good to see all of them and come together as one group/body again. We went to Paraguay in January so it has been four months since that life-altering experience. We rarely get together anymore so it was incredibly uplifting to catch up with everyone again. And as I was reminiscing and talking to Sam, one of my team members, about Paraguay, it reminded me of prayer, specifically the power of prayer. You see, Sam and I were a team in Paraguay.

The first village we visited was Puerto Barra. As we pulled into the village, we were immediately greeted and followed by the Ache people. It seemed almost instantly that they warmed up to us and adopted us as members of their village. Their compassion, peace, and joy was and still is unmatched by any other group of people I have met. And the kids, oh man, the kids were amazing. Sweet, loving, compassionate, peaceful, joyful, adorable, eager. All characterize these people. And we got to know them really well in the three days we were with them. But the story I want to tell happened on the last day we were there. The Ache let us kind of take over the church service so we sang some songs in English and Ache and then I got up and preached from Luke 12 in English, which was then translated to Spanish and then Ache. And after the church service, Sam, who knew Spanish very well, and I went around to the Ache people and asked if we could pray for them. We were leaving in a couple hours and we did not want to leave them without again telling them about Jesus Christ. We must have prayed for 4 or 5 different families and individuals. At the end of each prayer session, all were in tears, Sam and I included. The Ache were so grateful for that simple act of compassion and love. I mean it was a simple prayer that some of them probably couldn't even understand because my Spanish especially was so bad. But that name. The name of Jesus Christ was heard in our prayers. And I think it was heard in their hearts as well.

So why do I say all that? Because I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that prayer is one of, if not the most powerful tools of ministry God has given us. Prayer has affected so many people for the glory of God. Just look at the Book of Psalms. You know what the psalms really are? Prayers or prayers meant to be sung. And even still today the Psalms are being read, meditated on, interpretted, and used to show people the obsessive, heartfelt love humans have for God. Prayer is such a powerful and simple tool to use that sometimes we take it for granted. The impact a simple prayer can have on someones day or even future can be unfathomable. We may never know the reprocutions or reverburations of our actions but if we step out in faith and trust that God will work through even our simple prayers for people, we will be astounded at the glory we will be able to bring Christ.

So, don't discount the power of prayer. If you, if I, simply take the initiative and time to pray over someone, it can make a world of difference for them. A prayer can tell them that somebody out there cares enough about them to say a few words to the Big Guy on their behalf. It doesn't need to be eloquent or full of big church words and phrases. It just need to be from the heart. From a heart bursting and bubbling over with the love of Christ that it has to pour it out on someone. Sometimes, a prayer can show that love in a fresh, creative way that will stick with a person for eternity. Don't be scared. Use prayer as a weapon as you and as I continue to storm the gates of hell. Amen.

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