BEING Challenge – Day 20 – The Power Of Prayer
“Undercover Boss” was a reality-based show. The CEO of a major company would put on a disguise and work alongside his/her employees. The show was entertaining, especially when the employees would give their opinions about the CEO without realizing that they were talking right to him/her! While the situations and personalities changed, what I found interesting was that the results each week seemed to follow a similar pattern. The CEO, who often considered the workers part of the “problem” why their company wasn’t succeeding, often changed his/her mind and realized the employees were hard-working, real-life people. The same became true for the workers. Once the secret was revealed, the workers were amazed that their CEO would work alongside them in order to hear their real opinions about the company. In the end, the CEO would almost always make major changes to improve the work lives of the company’s employees.
I often picture Jesus as the “Undercover CEO of the World”. Not so much that He was hidden (although sometimes hiding in plain sight is the best disguise) but, because God left His throne and came to be with us. We do not have a God who is far off but one who has experienced every temptation and trial that we have experienced. The only difference is that instead of falling into temptation or being defeated by sin, He conquered every challenge. (Hebrews 4:15)
Sometimes we think of God as this distant being who doesn’t know us or is too busy to really care about our circumstances. But, these are simply lies of the Devil and deceits of our flesh. Our God is ever present and ever ready and He does listen. All the time! Over and over again in the Bible, God’s people call on Him in prayer and He relents, listens, changes His mind (not His will) and responds to the cries of His people. Why are we so hesitant to take full advantage of this amazing blessing?
God’s will is unchanging. God’s plan for salvation cannot be adapted. God Himself is immoveable and yet, the way God interacts with us, the day-to-day outcomes are changed. The simplest illustration is that we all sin and deserve eternal punishment. Yet, each and every time a sinner repents, God forgives and grants eternal life in Christ. This doesn’t change God or His will; it does change the outcomes and it changes us!
Persistent prayer is the greatest prayer of all. One might call it a conversation. Imagine asking your parents for one thing one time, or asking them a hundred times. Which is more likely to produce an outcome that is desirable to you? God says He is influenced in a similar way. When He hears the cries of His people His heart is impacted, He experiences compassion and remembers His promises to us. In other words, God listens to our prayers and is influenced by them.
We have the ear of the creator of the whole universe. The one who speaks and all creation listens. When we speak, that same God promises to listen because He loves us. You’ve heard it said it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. You know and have an intimate relationship with God. He begs us to utilize this relationship for our benefit and the benefit of the whole world. When our will is aligned with God’s will, nothing is impossible!
Scripture Reading for Sunday, October 2