"God shapes the world by prayer.” E. M. Bounds
What if this were true? That the prayers of faithful men and women everywhere shape the world. The tension here exists between the seen and unseen. You see, prayer is invisible, but its force is evident. Take for instance the wind. We cannot determine where it comes from or where it is going, but we can surely measure the effect it has on the earth. Wind can provide a cool breeze, and cause a tumultuous storm at sea.Similarly, prayer’s effect can also be measurable. God’s word confirms this truth to us in many passages, but let’s look at Mark 11:24. It says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” These are Jesus’ words, and he is saying when we pray with faith we can actually receive what we pray for. In other words, we have the power to shape our world through prayer.Knowing that there’s more to prayer, when we bring our needs and requests to God and wait patiently, two beautiful things happen.
First, our faith matures. God is pleased when we pray and act in faith. The goal is not to worry more as life goes on. No, it is to lean on him and trust him in all things. Maybe you’re worrying more than trusting right now, and that’s OK. It’s about making progress, not striving for perfection. So, how can your faith get to a healthier and stronger place? A simple step is to begin trusting God right now, praying for even the smallest needs in your life. Go ahead, pass along all your cares to him because he is interested in all of them! Every step taken in prayer is a step closer to living the faith-filled life God has intended for you.
The second thing that occurs when we pray is that circumstances align to his will. It’s said that prayer will either change us or the current situation. I happen to believe both of these happen. Our faith-filled prayers reach heaven, then the circumstances we thought were impossible begin to supernaturally shift on our behalf. And the more we pray with faith, not only do we see our situation change, but we see our mindset go from earthly to heavenly. Jesus set our standard for prayer, and he prayed for others often. As we follow this great example of standing in the gap for our friends, family, and fellow believers, it changes our view of them for God’s view of them. Even more, when we pray for others and watch God’s will align for them, we experience one of the greatest joys of this life.As a church, we are in the midst of #PrayFirst, 21 days of prayer and fasting. These are days of intention and purpose. We believe prayer should be our first response, not a last resort. Therefore, we layout different areas each day with the intention to prayerfully consider, both for ourselves and our community. Some of these areas are big, overarching topics, while others are specific and urgent. We can and should pray about everything! So, let’s do it, together!