I heard an awesome story on Sunday about a successful man who at the age of 52 was called by God to serve in El Salvador. He basically left everything he’d ever known behind and moved to an ‘unknown land’ (well, at least to him) and began doing things that helped the people of the area. He and his wife ended up creating an orphanage, a school and a medical facility – all because God asked him to.
Okay, first of all, can you imagine picking up your life – as it is today – and moving far away just to help others? Before even that, can you fathom having to tell your spouse that you guys have a new mission from God and it might not be that comfy?
Hmmm…hard to imagine, right?!?!?
What caught my attention the most in the story was that the man’s answer to EVERYTHING was prayer.
- The man had to convince his wife they needed to move. He prayed – God worked it out.
- The man felt led to build an orphanage. He prayed – God worked it out.
- The man saw the need to build a school. He prayed – God worked it out.
- The man knew the community needed a medical facility. He prayed – God worked it out.
- These buildings and such needed funding. He prayed – God worked it out.
- The medical facility needed equipment. He prayed – God worked it out.
- The medical facility needed doctors, nurses, etc. He prayed – God worked it out.
Do you see the pattern here? I sure do.
I would dare say that the man had been a faithful prayer prior to his mission in El Salvador. I say this because I doubt he would have heard God’s call in the first place, nor would he have been willing to blindly follow God’s lead had he not already had a relationship with Him.
Additionally, you might note that these items on the wish list were not for selfish gain; the prayers were to further God’s work, grace and kingdom.
I tried to find out by looking on the internet how many times prayer is talked about in the Bible. Since the Bible has been translated from Hebrew and Greek to the English language, it was vague on the amount of references on prayer.
However, I did find MANY scriptures that reference praying and answer the following questions.
How? – Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:9-12
Why? – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
For what? – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
How often? – Pray without ceasing…. 1Thessalonians 5:17
The story of this man in El Salvador brings to light the importance of prayer in all of our lives.
Let me be clear, praying regularly isn’t so we can get our wish list accomplished – God already knows what we want and need. What praying does do is humble us before God, which is a way to discipline us enough to give our entire life and being to our Maker.
Praying often builds a relationship with God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, so that we will then trust them enough to place our lives in their hands.
It’s like this: If we don’t talk to someone, how can we have a good relationship with them? Basically, we can’t. Therefore, prayer is the tool for us to use to get to know God more and it allows us to HEAR what He has to say.
Often, I find that when I shut up long enough when I’m talking to God, I actually will hear/feel/find the right path to take, the answer to my problem, a new idea, peace, joy and hope.
You might need to pray more! It definitely couldn’t hurt!!!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.