09 Feb 2017

Wasted Prayers

A few days ago, my peaceful morning was interpreted by a flurry of “breaking news” reports and an amber alert that a woman’s car had been stolen with her four year old daughter in it.  Needless to say, my heart immediately started pounding and my first instinct was to PRAY!  As a Pastor I stress that it is not just something you should do, but it is must be a part of your everyday life whether there’s a crisis or life seems to be going fine.  I did not just pray a casual prayer, I prayed as if this was someone I personally knew.  Then periodically I would check the news and my local news app on my phone to see if there were any updates. 

Finally during the 5:00 P.M. news it was announced that the child had been found unharmed with a family member where she had been all day!  The mother fabricated this horrifying tale in order to get her car back sooner!  What kind of warped, self-centered mind would concoct a scene like that?  Upon first hearing the story I was so angry with this mother.  Then I thought about how distraught I was just a few hours prior that I had given thought to calling the prayer team of our church together to intercede for this mother and child. 

For whatever the reason I did not make that call, I just decided that my husband and I would intensify our prayers and believe God that the child would be found safe.  Admittedly I felt that I had wasted time and precious prayers on a false report!  All I could think of at the time was that this mother deserved every bit of punishment that law enforcement could inflict on her.

As I reflected on that terrible incident God showed me that prayers are never wasted!  There is always a purpose in prayer even if you do not see the evidence of it right away or ever for that matter.   Here are some of the ways that instantly come to mind:

Prayer keeps us in communication with God.Prayer demonstrates our dependence on God and our need for a Power that is greater than ourselves.As long as we pray, we have HOPE!The more we pray the deeper our relationship grows with the Father.Every time a prayer is answered our FAITH is strengthened.

In regards to this particular situation, God kept speaking to me and I certainly appreciate what I learned.  He indicated that this child needed everyone’s prayers who were concerned enough to pray on that day.  We may not ever know why, but this child needed every prayer!   It came to my mind that possibly this child was never christened or dedicated back to God as an infant.  Maybe the environment she has been living in is not safe for her well-being.  Could it be that there was some impending danger that our prayers intercepted?  Although it was a hard pill to swallow, I had to recognize that even this immature, insensitive mother needed prayer as well.  Hopefully all the prayers that went up on her behalf; and whatever repercussions she faced, helped her to learn a lesson she will never forget.

Paul reminds us that we must not be ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God!  God’s righteousness is revealed and credited to us who live by faith!  There is power in our prayers and those prayers reach much farther than we will ever know.  For truly “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  (James 5: 16)

Source: First Lady Denise