Recently, I was walking out of a store with a few grocery essentials: apples, granola bars and eggs. We had hit the bottom of our last pay check and I was personally proud of the sales I found in order to purchase these staple items for our tiny household. As I left the store, I was approached by an anxious young woman. Her eyes caught mine as she humbly asked for money. Looking at my groceries, I tried to run through what limited resources I had to help her. I had no money to give and apples and granola bars seemed insufficient but it was all I had. Then I felt a stirring in my heart, pray for her.
I asked for her name and listened to her story. And then asked if I could pray for her. She rolled her eyes and took a defensive posture. Sure. She said as she began to scan the parking lot. I gently reached for her hand, No, I mean can I pray with you now? She froze, and then nodded slowly so I took both of her hands in mine and began to pray.
The boldness of our prayers is not only in what we say but also in the willingness to pray out loud with those we’ve committed to pray for. When I finished praying, she looked at me still in shock. No one has ever done that for me before, she whispered. I asked if I could give her a hug, gave her all the groceries I had and returned to my car empty handed.
Far too often, believers have used prayer as an excuse not to act. Although we believe in the power of prayer, the unbelieving world does not. To them, prayer is a cop out: a sentence of empty words that lacks action. Prayer is not just a promise but it is one of the greatest actions we possess as believers. In one of his letters, John reminds us that in prayer, we have confidence that when we can’t provide, God can. He writes, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14 NIV).
Do you believe that God can answer the prayers you pray for others?
Do they believe it?
We will never be able to show people the power of prayer if we are not willing to boldly pray for them, with them. God longs for us to invite Him into our circumstances, our relationships and our ministry. We may be at the end of a paycheck or without much time to give, but God honors the sacrifice of time with timeless answer to our prayers. And He honors the sacrifice of a bag of apples for a beautiful moment showing someone the love of Jesus and our accessibility to His love.
As our LeadHer Local chapters are being challenged this month to pray bold prayers, I invite you to look beyond the words you pray and look for opportunities to make prayer a bold action. And when you pray, pray with confidence that God hears our prayers and that He has the power to do the impossible in the lives of those we pray for. Pray with the confidence that although we may not have much to give, God gave everything for the person we have the divine opportunity to pray with.