Several years ago when both my wife and our daughter-in-law faced surgeries involving biopsies for cancer, we asked friends everywhere to pray for them. Letters, e-mails and phone calls enlisted the power of prayer in our time of concern for those we love. Thankfully, both of them were found to be cancer free.
After reporting the good news to churches and individuals who had been asked to pray, an e-mail arrived from friends saying, “What would we do without prayer?”
“In the world you will have tribulation,” said our Lord (John 16:33). And we can all identify with His wise words.
Negative influences impact us daily. We experience physical and emotional pain, face conflicts with disagreeable people, receive unwanted bills in the mail and even on drives to relax pass hospitals and cemeteries, those ever present reminders that all is not well with the world.
Weather changes are often not to our liking. Natural disasters strike. Wars and rumors of wars continue in spite of the best efforts of skilled diplomats and politicians to stop them (Matthew 24:6).
Life teaches us our limits.
What can we do when we’ve reached the end of ourselves? We can pray!
My work has placed me with people during the most trying times of their lives. I have been there when tears were flowing, when all the castles had tumbled, when the feared and unwanted had become realities.
What could I offer these whose problems defied solutions? I offered them prayer and observed its life changing power making a difference.
Businessmen who appeared on the brink of bankruptcy prayed and worked their way back to success. Grieving people who thought the sun would never shine for them because of losing loved ones in death found God’s grace sufficient and learned to smile again. Parents who had nearly despaired over wayward children prayed in faith and finally rejoiced in the good things happening in their families. Churches that were declining in attendance and saw little hope of being effective in their communities put away their internal differences, prayed their way to recovery, experienced spiritual awakening, learned to love one another and became life changing lighthouses as their Lord intended them to be. People who seemed near death have recovered because of the prayers of their churches, family members and friends; surprising their physicians, receiving new strength and adding years to their lives.
What would we do without prayer? We would find ourselves at the mercy of circumstances and sicknesses beyond our control, without hope when pessimistic pronouncements were made about the future.
Why, then, do we neglect prayer when its limitless power is available to us? Why are church prayer meetings (if held at all) so poorly attended?
This time of international terrorism demands going on an emergency prayer basis; the situation is serious and too many of us aren’t. It’s time to pray!
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years.He can be reached at .