I've been reworking my prayer life ever since my Dad passed away. It has been a long road and I am still walking it, to be honest, but I am coming a little closer to believing in the power of prayer. For the last few years, I have been practicing what Richard Foster, author of "The Celebration of Discipline", calls "giving God time to answer your prayers". Foster believes that most Westerners don't actually believe in prayer because when we were children we were taught to pray too big. His idea is that we did not develop the faith that it takes to believe our prayers could be answered because we pray for cancer to leave someone's body or for world peace. He suggests that we should pray first for the small things and develop a faithful prayer practice, one where we allow God time to answer our prayers. If we start to see our small requests answered then over time, we might develop the faith to believe that our big ones will be answered too. After all, Jesus literally left towns where people did not have faith in him because he could not perform miracles in the midst of so much doubt...
|Noelle, just a few minutes old|
|Noelle, 2 days old|
|2 weeks old|
It was not until I was literally pushing this child out of my body when I heard the doctor say, "This baby is STRONG!" that I realized what I had been praying for. Suddenly, all my prayers seemed to whirl around me like a cyclone and I realized God had heard me and they were answered.
|1 month old|
It was a good reminder of the power in persistent prayer. Jesus tells a story about a widow who keeps bugging the town judge for something. He doesn't want to grant what she asked for but she wouldn't stop asking. She didn't give up and finally he gives in just because she is so annoying. Jesus ends this story with something like, "Even this old nasty judge can do the right thing, imagine how much more your Father in Heaven will bless your persistence." In addition, I know that our prayers are answered in love, not annoyance.
|3 months old|
|4 months old|