I've looked at Prayer from Both Sides Now
Many of you may remember the song, I've Looked at Love from Both Sides Now, written by Joni Mitchell. This song came to mind as I was preparing to write this blog post. With the many posts on prayer that I've written on this blog I may appear obsessed with prayer. And I guess I am. But honestly, I believe prayer is woefully underutilized by the church and myself. Not only is prayer not used to its fullest, but I don't think we share about answered prayers enough.
Most of my prayer posts are about why we should pray. This one is from the other side sharing how God answers prayer. That said, I want to share with you what happened to me in March. At the end of February, the urologist discovered lesions on my bladder and scheduled a biopsy. I decided I needed more information so I googled "lesions in bladder". As an aside, I don't recommend this as all information seems to lead to cancer. On the day of the biopsy, the doctor came in and talked, then when it was time they wheeled me into the operating room. When I woke up, I found that the lesions were gone, and there was nothing to biopsy. And there we have a better answer than I had even requested.
Even though I had been praying for good results, I was surprised when I actually got them. I often forget who I am praying to, God is the One who can do anything and everything, the whole world and everything in it are in his power. He has power I can not even fathom, which is probably why I don't expect many of the answers I get. We forget we have access to God's almighty power through Jesus. Paul told the Ephesians, "I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." Eph. 1:19-20. We have the power of the resurrection!
Perhaps we think we don't deserve our requests, but that is not the message Jesus gave his disciples, he said, "You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:13-14. He didn't say we had to be perfect first or that we had to be holy. Jesus calls us as we are to ask him for what we need.
How much have we lost out on because we didn't ask Jesus? It's like buying a car. When the dealer tells us our new sportscar has the power of a V-8 under the hood, we don't leave the dealership with the plan to remove two spark plugs because we don't think we need the power of all eight cylinders. We take advantage of all the power that car offers, so why don't we take advantage of all the power we have in prayer?
Perhaps we are willing to access all the power in the car because we paid for it. And we haven't paid God anything for his power, so we don't believe we deserve it. But that is what is so awesome about our privileges as Christians. We didn't have to pay the price because Jesus did. He went to the cross to cover the cost of our sins. (See my post Thoughts on the Resurrection) And through him, we were made children of God. And as the children of God, we have received all the same blessings Jesus has.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a position at St. Mark's GMC as their Associate Pastor. My priority in this role is to create a prayer ministry. I'm so excited to be able to focus on prayer in this pastoral ministry position. And I want to offer to anyone reading this a promise that if you leave a prayer request in the comments or send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org I will pray for you.