During my years of being chronically ill and growing up in a family that taught me a lot about a healthy Biblical lifestyle, I had the opportunity to learn early on about prayer.
Prayer, a word that most of us know and a subject that a few include in their daily lifestyle, yet it`s something that is difficult to live out and to practice daily.
I don`t want to go to deep into explaining what prayer is, but for me personally it has become a powerful tool in my life to overcome any sickness, adversities, hurts, brokenness, unforgiveness, complications, addictions etc.
I have seen many circumstances and situations turn around once I’ve started to pray – some turnarounds happened in the “now” while others happened over a period of time.
Over the years, people have got to know me and my illness and it`s an incredible blessing to see the amount of people that were praying for me and my family, when we we’ve gone through hardships – they have consistently done so for many years. I believe that the many “death-overcoming-miracles“ in my life are a result of people praying for me!
Over the years, prayer has become a great daily habit for me. It wasn`t something I started doing overnight, in fact it’s taken me years to make it one of my daily priorities. The impact it has had and will have is huge and only Heaven knows its full impact on my life and others’ lives.
In this last blog of 2016, I would like to encourage you to reflect about what prayer can do in your life, why prayer is important in the “now” and how prayers have a positive impact on the future.
Prayer Calms Us Down
Most of the time, prayer is related to if we want something or if we are in need of something. I don`t know about you, but I personally believe in a heavenly God who is a good Father who wants the best for those who want to receive His best. In Mark 11:24 He says: “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” (NLT)
How good is it to know that when you are in need of anything, you can seek help and ask God for whatever you need – being assured of this, for me personally it`s one of the best possible “calm downs” I can have in a difficult situation!
I could tell you endless stories of how prayer has calmed me down during a situation, circumstances or hardships. I want to share one story that I have specifically in mind. In 2001, some time after I’d had my third kidney transplant, I began experiencing symptoms of my chronic illness again. Tests to see how well the kidney was doing came back negative, and I knew that I’d potentially lose this kidney too. Knowing that you’d have to live without a kidney and go back to having regular Dialysis treatment is a harsh situation. Even more so when you`re aware that the doctors and everyone else involved were doing everything they could do to save the kidney! One day I prayed specifically for that to be able to keep the kidney and in the midst of my fear of losing the kidney and the uncertainty of not knowing the exact outcome, I felt a peace that I can`t describe in words! But after that moment, I could say that whatever I would have to go through would turn out for the better.
Prayer Brings Hope
Have you ever been in a hopeless situation? Do you remember what it feels like to be there? It`s like you have no clue about what will happen next. Basically anything and everything could happen and it could be anywhere! That hopelessness can drive us crazy! But even when we think there is no hope, there is still a small glimpse of hope in our innermost being.
Prayer is a lifestyle that can be developed. The more we develop it the more our hope in the One who gives hope is increased, yet we don`t need to pray by our own strength – we have the Holy Spirit, the advocate who leads us in prayer.
In Romans 8:24-26 it says: “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.“ (NIV)
There is seriously nothing better than knowing that there is a hope in all of our hopeless situations. Hope is one of the most fundamental aspects that kept me doing life even when my life didn`t want to keep going.
Prayer Can Be Bold
I don`t know about you, but I sometimes feel like we have stopped asking with boldness and audacity. Especially in Western culture, where we have developed an attitude of “Why should I ask if I can get it by myself?” instead of “Let`s ask boldly for what I need.”
This culture has an impact not only on what we pray for but especially how we pray.
A few months ago, I was driving to a dialysis appointment. As I turned on to the motorway, there was a lady in the breakdown lane a few metres ahead, holding up a sign, which said “Please Help! I don`t know where I am!“ I’d left the house late for my treatment, but I felt a duty as a people and Jesus-lover, to stop and ask her what was going on. I tell you though; the struggle was real to not stop! ☺
She was really lost! To help her, I told her to follow me and I drove to where she needed to be, which was about 15km away from where she first ended up!
The point of this story is that I love it when people ask boldly and with audacity! She was the one who asked for help even at the risk of creating huge congestion on the motorway!
For me, one of the most impressive and audacious prayer stories is found in Genesis 32, where we read the story of the golden calf.
Moses the leader of more than 2 million people had some time out with God on a mountain. The people were waiting for Moses to come back but got tired of waiting for him so they started to collect all the gold the people had and made a calf out of it, so they could worship the calf instead of God. God realised what was going on and said to Moses (in their first ever conversation!): “Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” Exodus 32:10 (NIV)
But Moses was bold and prayed with audacity and reminded God of what He had promised Moses and the people. At the end of their conversation, God basically changed His “mind.” Things ended well and in verse 14 we read: “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.“ (NIV)
What amazes me most in this story, is that Moses had the boldness and audacity to pray to God while God was angry and to not to do what God said but to instead remind Him of what He had promised. As God is a loving and merciful God, He changed His intention and went back to what He had promised.
I don`t know about you, but I sometimes lack the boldness to ask something from someone when that person is angry. How much boldness and courage did Moses show towards God? Wow!
I truly believe that God wants for us to ask Him things with boldness, courage and for us to pray prayers that are audacious!
I want to encourage you as you head into 2017, to pray with audacity, to boldly ask God for what you need and be courageous in receiving it!
Stay in prayer, keep going the communication going with our heavenly Father. God always listens but often we are the ones who don`t take the time to talk with Him. Let`s be people of prayer and change the world with powerful, positive and uplifting prayers!
James 5:16 “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.“ (NLT)
Merry Xmas and a blessed New Year 2017