Power of Prayer
Power of Prayer
As we begin to prepare for our new outdoor music festival, called HOPEstock, I am overwhelmed with fear. Why would we move to an outdoor venue in Minnesota of all places? How in the world will we find financial supporters to help bring this event to fruition? Did I mention we know nothing about music festivals? As I struggle with my fear of the unknown, a story I shared some time ago came to mind...
We were standing at the top of a waterslide at Paige’s birthday party years ago, and one of the girls in our group was afraid to go down. The girl watched the other kids jump into the tube filled with gushing water for minutes on end. Each time she heard their screams of delight, her eyes filled with a yearning that was quickly clouded by fear.
As I stood by and witnessed her struggle, I would periodically lean over and say, “You can do this, believe in yourself.” After 20 minutes of painful indecision, she said, “I need to have a quick talk with God.” She walked over to an empty corner, squeezed her eyes shut, and started to silently pray.
When she was done, she gave me a curt nod, walked over to the opening of the slide, and hesitantly proceeded down into the dark, watery abyss. Minutes later, she came back with a huge smile splitting her face, and talked a mile a minute about how awesome the slide was. I was so touched by this moment that I had to ask the girl’s mom how she had developed a faith so strong at such a young age. Her mother told me that she kept a prayer journal—each night the girl would write down her prayers, then periodically go through the journal and cross out those that had been answered.
Since I had been teaching Brooke’s Sunday School class about prayer, I thought this would be a perfect thing for Brooke and I to do together each night before bed. Brooke happily complied. She pulled out her favorite journal and several different colored pens to write with. On the first night she wrote, “I want to wish that Pat gets better, Mommy passes her FDA audit perfectly, Paige makes new friends, I pass my test, and Daddy has a great time at work” in her neatest handwriting. Brooke then read her words out loud, said “in Jesus’ name I pray,” and we both closed with an “Amen.” We repeated this format each night, and every Saturday we would go through the list of prayers and cross out those that had been answered.
In amazement, we watched “wish” after “wish” get crossed off the list. From the silly to the serious, we were shocked that an act so simple appeared to be working. As time went on, Brooke’s prayers got bolder. She would pray for others’ healing, blessings to be bestowed upon the people she loved, aid in dealing with the anger she sometimes felt, and God’s help in drawing certain people closer to Him. God responded by answering prayer after prayer. We couldn’t help but marvel at His love and power.
The Bible says that those that respect God enough to fear Him and follow His commandments may ask anything in Jesus’ name and have it fulfilled so the glory of God can be revealed in this world. Given her amazing track record, Brooke apparently does a better job following God’s rules than mine! To my special, loving, smart, beautiful, firecracker named Brooke Marlee Christensen: thank you for teaching me the power of prayer. I will turn to it now and ask that HOPEstock turns out to be a day that changes many, many lives...including ours.