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05-13-11
Forty Days of Prayer: Unity of the Body
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)

Do we really believe prayer is effective? One test is comparing how much time we spend on any given day praying as compared to, for example, reading magazines, or watching TV, or shopping, or eating, or stalking on Facebook, or . . . And it's probably a deep, little secret tucked away in a part of our hearts where words aren't allowed to go that prayers don't really seem to make a difference. Haven't we all prayed and prayed and prayed for something that never seemed to happen? And on the other hand, good things seem to happen all the time (maybe especially to others) that we know have never been the subject of a single whimper to heaven. So why pray?

I have definitely fallen into the camps I just described. That's why I'm able to describe them. But, it is good - and necessary - to remember the times when suddenly, against all odds, something we prayed for happened. I am still amazed and also amused about something that happened a couple of years ago.

My brother had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and had had a tough surgery to remove the tumor. Even as he was incapacitated and still enduring the pains of recovery, further testing for metastasizing was inconclusive or worse. I was talking one day to his ever-positive wife who consistently sees the cup as brimming over (my brother described her email informing us of the details of the cancer diagnosis as "the happy cancer email"), and she sounded weary. The proverbial straw was a frog trapped in the swimming pool drain. Since she - and the frog - lived in Texas, the situation didn't lend itself to my taking care of it, i.e., sending my husband. So I prayed. I called on the promises of the Lord to be the husband when the husband could not be there, and therefore to please handle the frog in the drain. The next time my sister-in-law went to the pool, the frog was gone.

Whether the God who commanded the frogs to cover the land of Egypt also commanded this presumably dead frog to rise and dislodge himself from the drain, or whether some ministering angel scooped it out, or whether there is some other explanation, I don't know. I only know that after praying, the frog disappeared. The prayer of a person righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ is powerful and effective. May that promise stir us up enough to pray today.

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Friday, May 13: Children for those whose desire is for children “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” (Psalm 113:9)

“There come times when I have nothing more to tell God. If I were to continue to pray in words, I would have to repeat when I have already said. At such times it is wonderful to say to God, ‘May I be in Thy presence, Lord? I have nothing more to say to Thee, but I do love to be in They presence.” O. Hallesby

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