This morning I am finding myself especially thankful for Kelly O’Dell Stanley and the insightful words she has put together in Designed to Pray. This book has opened my eyes about how many reminders there are to pray and how many people there are to pray for. People who I love and care about that I don’t often add to my prayers because I’m so concerned with what I might need or want. I have also discovered how much I like praying. I love talking with God and feeling close to Him. I know that He hears me and that He cares what I have to say.
The OA thought today was basically, “if not me, who?” I guess that’s a bit how I feel about prayer now. My husband has a woman he works with who was just in an awful car accident and I have been offering up prayer after prayer for her. I barely know her, but I do know that prayer works and that God is hearing me on her behalf. I don’t know if she or her family prays, but if they don’t, then who is praying for her? And, more importantly, why not me? It only takes about five seconds to ask God to watch over and bless her. He is aware of the healing she is in need of, so He doesn’t need a long-winded explanation of exactly what I think she needs. I also pray for her doctors and her family and those she works with – everyone who may be affected or who may care about her. They all need His watchful care right now. I know that He will still provide it, but in the asking, He knows that someone else cares. Our Bible dictionary says this about prayer,
The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.
I don’t desire that God change His plans for any of the people I pray for, I just want to be sure that someone is asking for blessings to rain down upon them. If I know of something specific, then I pray for that, but otherwise, I just ask God to bless them with what He knows they need at that moment. Man, God has made it all so easy for us to reach Him. He could have asked for anything and we would need to do it, but he chose opening our mouths and speaking. What an awesome God!
In addition to the above, I was reminded in Daily Reflections by A.A. Members, that we are each a miracle. We are individually created by a loving God, that same God who wants to hear from us. We are in His image, but think of the variety of bodies and the mixture of personalities. No wonder we compare ourselves to snowflakes. No one of us is like another, just like the how the needs and blessings we ask for are so varied. I can see how the ancient and early church members could pray all day and night or “wrestle” with God. There are so many blessings to ask for.
Another aspect of prayer is the laying on of hands. Now, I know that not every religion believes in this, but we do. We believe that Priesthood holders (those ordained to act in God’s behalf for the purpose of healing or blessing His children) can lay their hands upon a person and call down power from heaven to meet the person’s needs. This is only different in that oil is anointed upon their heads, as in the Old and New Testament, and the elders have been set apart to do this. Again, the Bible dictionary says that laying on of hands is, “A procedure used from the earliest times in the manner of blessing, conferring the Holy Ghost, and ordaining to the priesthood.” Then, there’s a whole bunch of scripture references.
God has made so many ways for us to reach Him. We really only need to want to and if we don’t want to, we can even ask for help with that. That’s it. The rest is a piece of cake.