“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray…” James 5:13
Two Sundays ago, John Kirby painted an impressive picture of how BIG God is, taking us on a journey from the farthest reaches of space, to the spaces within an atom. He showed how looking at the universe puts in perspective how inconsequential we really are, if not for God’s response to us.
Despite our seeming inconsequentiality, it astounds me how God responds to prayer. As a church and as a movement, the vision this year has been “Lord, teach us to pray.” And as John highlighted in the book of James, we are all very much in trouble, and very much in need of prayer.
In response to that vision, I remember when our connect group took some time to study the Lord’s Prayer. I have known the Lord’s Prayer by heart since I was in elementary school but looking at it again with my peers helped me realize the depth and power of that brief passage. Prayer is more than just asking God’s blessing on things that we think we need, but about asking God for all things, all the time, and acknowledging that it is HIS kingdom and HIS will that we are calling for on earth.
More and more, I’ve found myself praying for my workplace, coworkers, and the work I do, doing my best to pour out love on kids, both as a sitter and coach. Admittedly, it can be hard to consistently be present and patient when I’m with kids. But through a coworker’s friendly reminder, I realized how lack of presence and patience can have a tremendous impact on a child. I continually wanted to show kids that I am with them and for them, because that is who God is to his children. But I needed him to show that kind of love, because in my own strength, I would consistently come up short.
While I’ve seen some tangible results from my prayers, I’ve noticed the biggest shift in myself. I find myself being more patient, more kind, more joyful as I pray and allow the Spirit to work in me, and I feel a lot more peace. Those are the fruits of the Spirit, and that’s God’s kingdom and will being done on earth.
God works within us through prayer, as well as through us. As scripture also says in James 5, “the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.” Prayer shifts hearts, brings healing, and orchestrates change, because we are acknowledging rightly who we are in our big, BIG universe — ones seen and known by a very big, very powerful God.
About the Author: Gabby hails from Waco, Tx where she received her undergraduate degree in social work. She calls herself a Michigander now, and is excited for the next adventure with God in Ann Arbor and Detroit! Geography is her favorite subject, and as the American daughter of Filipino immigrants, she is no stranger to a diversity of food, culture and travel. You can often find her at the local rock wall, hitting the pavement around Ypsi/A2 or, her favorite, getting quality time with good friends.