Power in prayer

A reader posted this comment and question on a previous post. I thought it was interesting enough to put it out here to see if any of my readers wanted to share their stories:

There’s a great story by the priest who does the Alpha series. Early in his ministry a parishioner asked him to pray for healing of a serious illness. He was very uncomfortable doing this but did anyway, not really expecting anything to change, perhaps the person would “feel better” but nothing more. He was hesitant to inquire at any time over the next few weeks about the condition not expecting to hear any good news and not sure what he would say at that point. Interestingly, the question of the parishoner’s illness did come up as a side issue some months later and the response was something like, “Oh, that problem went away right after you prayed over me”. The priest was shocked and chagrined at the same time and learned first-hand about the power of prayer.

At least this is the story as I remember it. I wonder if readers of this blog have had similar experiences.

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5 thoughts on “Power in prayer

  1. I had been experiencing a LITTLE bit of back pain for months. It wasn’t disabling, but it WAS constantly irritating. I heard about an ongoing revival about 2 hours away from my home, and out of curiosity, I attended. I wasn’t seeking healing at all. The back pain was hardly enough to mention to my doctor.

    The service I attended was on a Monday afternoon. There was no flamboyant healing stuff going on, just praise and worship. I joined in for about 2 hours, singing and praising God. Then, I noticed, that my back pain was gone!

    It never returned.

    1. Very interesting.
      Did you seek healing during the service? And, if not too personal, how do you regard or understand this experience?

  2. My dear mother always told the story of how, during the depression, her mom had a house full of hungry kids, absolutely no food, at her wits end.
    They prayed and not an hour later neighbors showed up with an abundance of groceries. Nobody called them, there was no phone. God urged them on, merciful God.

    It may not sound like much in these days, but back then in east Texas when a scrawny chicken was a Sunday dinner to look forward to…
    I know that prayer and those neighbors kindness made an everlasting impression on my mom.
    Thanks be to God.

  3. I have sometimes been very uncomfortable following up on a request to pray–sometimes because it seemed too unlikely to be fulfilled and sometimes because it seemed too silly or self-centered–but I have found that if I pray and ask God to answer as God will, I am often seeing God in ways that I didn’t even think about, and my friends often find answers to prayer that they delight in sharing. I learn that I need to be more open and more faithful.

  4. One of the suggestions Nicky Gumbel (host/creator of the Alpha series) offers is to write down prayer wishes on a sheet of paper and check them off as they are answered. I don’t do that, but I do keep an eye on the things for which I have sought intervention and help. Have been doing this for the last four or five years. I was surprised when I first noticed that my prayer questions were in fact being answered, although often, most of the time in fact, they were not answered in the way or manner that I had anticipated. I have concluded that God does listen and converse with me but my simplistic image of him as a royal-like figure who acts by decree has been in error. He now seems more “real” than I ever supposed, more like a help mate who is there to offer help and comfort as well as the light needed to find the right path, a shepherd to guide and protect us, not an old man with a white beard who always says “yes” or “no” to prayer requests.

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