11 January 2015

THE MIRACLE OF PRAYER - By Bonnie Roof




The topic of prayer is vast and such an important one. God thought it so important that according to Answers.com, the word prayer is mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible - 114 times. Related words appear the following number of times: pray 313, prayed 65 and praying 20. There are numerous scriptures illustrating Christ in prayer and He, Himself - gave us the perfect pattern for prayer.

What is prayer? Prayer is numerous things: talking with God, thanking Him, committing things to Him, praising Him, consecrating things to Him, asking Him to meet your needs - or someone else's. Talking to God should be as comfortable and easy as talking to a best friend (as He, truly, is our best friend), frequent, at any time and any place and about anything and everything - from the most simple issue to the most serious/difficult. It should be so much a part of our being that we don't even realize how often we pray. Prayer allows God to enter our problems and work on them - it doesn't have to be long, loud, fancy, done in a certain body position or by pleading.

Some people may not pray much because they don't realize how powerful prayer is. Prayer is passionate, honest, sincere and putting your entire heart in it - something author Julie Lessman well understands, having prayed for her children from their birth, and their prospective mates, as well. One of life's greatest blessings is having a parent who prays for you. There is no better example than my own mother. Although raised to regularly attend church and having accepted Christ as my Savior as a pre-teen - there were a number of years when I stumbled around, living life on my own terms instead of following God's plan for my life. My mother prayed for years before seeing me return to Him. She is now in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease - I'm so grateful He allowed her to witness my return.

At times, prayer is answered quickly - at other times, it can take years or may not even happen within our lifetime. God's word tells us to pray - it is His way  of making some things happen, helps others realize Jesus' love, clears hindrances out of the way so that God to work, is His plan for accomplishing His will, gives us strength over evil and fills our emotional needs. Prayer also keeps us humble, can succeed when other avenues have failed, is always available, strengthens the relationship between Christians and answered prayer can be a witness to those doubtful.  

How do we know that God really answers prayers? "But when you pray, go into your (most) private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open", Matthew 6:6 (amplified version). He works all things together according to His plan and in His timing (Romans 8:28). He allows us to experience trials and in so doing - our relationship with Him is strengthened and made closer. Hebrews 11:6 tells us God rewards those who diligently seek Him. I have seen miracles in my own life, as well as in others, that could only be explained as an answer to prayer(s). Prayer can succeed where other things don't and should not be our last response, but our first.

When we do something to bless others, we are blessed also - God is a "re-gifter", so to speak. When God spoke to me a couple of years ago, asking that I do all I could to encourage Christian writers/authors - little did I realize the blessings I would receive in return, or that He had a two-fold purpose in asking. I have become a prayer partner with several authors - their prayers, and the prayers of other godly online friends, have blessed me more than I can say, especially during my 2014 diagnosis of cancer and the resulting surgery and recovery. I really don't know how I would have gotten through it without the belief that God was in control and had a plan - and the prayers of my online friends, family and other friends.
Smiling Teresa - Selfless Teresa: This isn't her birthday, it's Carrie's and she made a 20+ layer cake that everybody in the restaurant wanted last year! Please pray for Teresa's husband's complete healing!!!

As some of you know, one of our OWG Angels, Teresa Mathews, and her husband, Carlton, have been facing a huge medical crisis for some time - due to his battle with multiple myeloma. Teresa and Carlton are strong prayer warriors, believing God is in control and is working things to Carlton's good. Teresa, Carlton and family, and all of us at OWG - would be overjoyed and grateful for any and all who feel led to add Carlton to their prayer list and commit to pray for him on a daily basis, thus giving added strength/support to them in their battle toward God's victory. I know, from personal experience, one can definitely feel prayers being offered up for her/him - by others. (Anyone not previously aware of Carlton's health issues can read more about them from previous OWG posts and also on Teresa's Facebook timeline). Thank you so much!!!!

GIVEAWAY: Please share your prayer experiences - all who comment will be entered in our weekly drawing giveaway on OWG.



                                 

31 comments:

  1. BONNIE what an anointed post!! I cannot imagine how people survive bad things in their life that don't know the power of prayer. I was raised to prayer about everything...from the simple things, like a closer parking place at the mall, to the major life changing things like cancer. I am so blessed that I know I can call on the Lord for anything I need or just to tell Him how much I love Him and appreciate all He has done for us.

    Thank you so much for mentioning the difficulties we are facing at the moment. In the last 7 months we have learned more and more to trust GOD with everything because He Always Knows Best!!

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    1. I so appreciate your sweet comments, Teresa - thank you!! I was raised the same way - it has become a natural reaction for me to pray about any and every thing, no matter now large or small (from guidance in seeking a misplaced item to, as you said - battles with cancer). Yes - it is just as important that we offer praise and thanks to Him as it is to seek comfort and guidance during those life-changing and learning trials of life. Such times always deepen our relationship with Him, also. It "blows" my mind when I reflect on that period in my life when I wasn't following God's plan for my life, apparently thinking (or NOT thinking about it at all) that I was more capable than the God Who created me and the entire universe!! As you said, He certainly does ALWAYS know best - such blessings I have received since acknowledging that!!

      Love you and your family - continual prayers for healing for Carlton, and you - as well, my sweet friend!!

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  2. Wonderful post. And may I mention that the OWG angels all PRAYED that you would join us, Bonnie, and that the Holy Spirit would lead you. Here's evidence of prayer! Awaiting God's answers for healing prayers for Carlton!

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    1. I really appreciate your comments, Carrie - and appreciate you, even more!! Thank you!!

      Yes, you are SO right - perfect evidence of prayer. Little did I know what was going on "behind the scenes" before being led to join your godly, inspiring team, lol!! And - I know, from experience, that it will bless me as much, or more, than ANYONE - in being here.

      I'm awaiting, excitedly, for those answers, also - Carrie, whatever they are - they will be for Carlton's good because of his faithfulness to God!!

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  3. Such a beautiful post, Bonnie. Thanks for inviting me over. You impart a lot of godly truth and wisdom here. Love your thoughts about Julie and your own mother. I'll continue to pray for Teresa and Carlton ~ what a testimony they have. I'm really blessed by Teresa's comments above as they journey through this. Bless you and the OWG ladies!

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    1. Laura - I'm always so glad to "see" you and so appreciate your beautiful comments and taking the time to visit. You ALWAYS bring joy!!

      Teresa and Carlton DO have a beautiful testimony and exude the kind of faith all Christians should have, indeed, God does use such faith to bless others. Blessings to you, as well - dear Laura - from all of us at OWG!!

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  4. Enjoyed reading today's words.. May the Lord give you renewed strength each day... Our prayer warrior is our 75 year old Mother. God Bless Her! Blessings to all! !

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    1. SO glad you enjoyed the post, Deanna - thank you so much for your prayer!! What would we do without our prayer warriors ?? So happy that you have one in your family, as well. Blessings prayed for all of our prayer warriors and blessings to you, as well, from all of us at OWG. Thanks for stopping by!!

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  5. Bonnie, thank you for this encouraging post! I prayed for my Daddy's salvation for years. The Lord used my parents divorce to bring him into the Kingdom. Daddy will be in Heaven three years on January 15. I am so grateful the Lord answered my prayer. :)

    Blessings

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    1. I'm thrilled you found the post encouraging, Caryl, as that is THE reason for my posts. Thank you so much for telling me.

      It's often during our deepest trials that we receive the greatest blessings, as in the case of your father's salvation. Just one of the reasons scripture commands us to praise God in ALL situations, I feel - there are unknown blessings in even the worst of them. What greater blessing, and answer to prayer, could there be than the salvation of a loved one??

      SO happy for you and your family - and grateful that God was able to use the answering of your prayers as a possible witness to others!! Continued blessings to you, as well - Caryl!!

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  6. I find such great strength through prayer & know my prayers do the same for others.

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    1. Amen, Mary!! Even in the worst of situations - strength, comfort, guidance - and joy, as well - can be found, by the receiver(s) and also the one(s) praying. God uses our prayers to bless in both directions - so glad you've discovered those blessings. Thanks for your comments!!

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  7. As I was reading your beautifully anointed post, BONNIE, the thought came to me, " No wonder satan puts so many things in our way to distract us from prayer!" I can't tell you the times I was getting ready to go to prayer and hubby calls, or someone is at the door. That's why I prefer to pray early in the morning. But since surgery, I can't seem to get up too early here lately! And satan will also try to hinder us from praying by putting thoughts of unworthiness or hopelessness of the situation in our minds.

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of the benefits of prayer...and the joy in being in God's presence!

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    1. Oh, no doubt that satan works overtime putting obstacles in the way for anyone having an opportunity to know God and/or become closer to Him. You'd think he would have learned by now that the ending to the story has already been written and he is the loser, lol!! Like you, I've experienced so many obstacles. Guess that should bring us joy, also - as the more ardent we are for God, the more obstacles satan will construct. Amen to the thoughts of unworthiness or hopelessness, also.

      And - I understand, totally, about getting up early. It's a big issue for me and has been for years since I am a night-owl, by nature - working 3rd shift for 7 years before I retired and the problems from aging and health issues has only made it worse.

      Thank you for your beautiful comments - hugs!!

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    2. I also wanted to add that I was on the other side of that beautiful lady and scrumptious cake in the pic above! We all had such a wonderful time celebrating Carrie's b'day that day! :)

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    3. Praying I'll have the pleasure of meeting all of you and possibly seeing one of those beautiful cakes "up close and personal" this year, Diana, lol!! It will be such a delight!!

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  8. Bonnie, Beautiful post on prayer! When I was a new Christian, I used to restrict my praying to one short session each morning, but one day God led me to a book called Practicing the Presence of God, and I realized I could "chat" with God all day long. I Loved it!! Feeling Him right beside me all the time. It changed my entire life. Now, I will not only ask Him for things, I'll talk with Him like a friend. "Hey, look at that flower. Wow, thank you Father. It's so beautiful."
    Anyway, I know you are a huge prayer warrior and I'm so glad God threw us together so we can pray for each other.!! I know your prayers have already helped me so much. :-) I'm also one of those Moms who prays constantly for my children, several which are prodigals at the moment. And I already have Teresa and Carlton on my daily list. I know God will do something powerful in their lives! Hugs and love!

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    1. You have blessed me with your comments, MaryLu - thank you so much!! I love those life-changing books and will be ordering "Practicing the Presence of God", thank you for telling us about it. It's such a joy to "chat" with God all day long, as you do - and I feel He wants each of us to be comfortable enough to do that and experience that closeness to Him. It's an honor to pray for you - I'm blessed to know my prayers have helped you and I treasure your prayers, as well. Your books, comments and spiritual posts inspire and bring me joy - your Monday blog posts are one of the highlights of my week. As with you - I'm joyfully awaiting that miracle God will work in Teresa and Carlton's life. Hugs and love back to you, my dear friend!!

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  9. Such an inspiring post, Bonnie....love it!
    Continuing to pray for Teresa and Carlton as well as others mentioned on OWG.
    Blessings~~~

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    1. Hi, Jackie!! I so appreciate your kind comments - it's a joy to know my post inspired you. You will be blessed for your prayers for Teresa and Carlton, just as they will - thank you so much and thank you for stopping by today!!

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  10. BONNIE!!! Cannot express just HOW much I smile when I see your posts on OWG!! Not only because of the obvious anointing on you and your writing, but because of the way He grouped you together with some of my favorite people in the world -- talk about one-stop friendship and blessings!!

    You said: "It should be so much a part of our being that we don't even realize how often we pray." Oh, YES, YES, YES!! I have to laugh at myself because I catch myself in absent-minded conversations with God ALL THE TIME, talking to Him like He's a girlfriend in the room. Be it sharing secrets or griping about my weight or just stopping in the middle of it all to thank Him for something as simple as my hubby having me taste-test his Keurig coffee, a little game we play to see if I can guess which flavor it is -- I find myself talking more and more to God the older I get. Even when I stub my toes or hurt myself, I've trained myself to say, "Praise God, Praise God, Praise God" at the top of my lungs, which usually has me laughing before it's all over. And when when I do something stupid (only a bazillion times a day), I find myself kicking a new conversation off with something like, "Really, God???" Whether praising Him or grousing to Him (we are human, after all, something of which He's quite aware), I believe He always wants to hear from us and become an intricate part of our day. In my opinion as well as yours, He should be the #1 Person we talk, even if we look a little crazy doing it (i.e. mumbling/talking to ourselves). If I'm gonna be perceived as "crazy," I'd rather it be over God than anything else, so bring it on!! :)

    BEAUTIFUL post, my friend, and oh -- I actually drooled at mention of Teresa's 20+ layer cake, so now I'm hungry ... :)

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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    1. No one smiles any more than I do when I see your name and comments, Julie. There are only a couple of other people I know who pray so earnestly and without ceasing as you do. You are the true epitome of prayer to me and all who know you. Only God knows the depth of impact and inspiration you, your writing and prayers have made in my life. It is you and your prayers, belief and encouragement that I could and should start writing - "just write something, Bonnie"; "I'm praying God will lead you to start writing, Bonnie" - and become able to open up and express my thoughts in that way, which started the "wheels" turning in my head (via God). Because of my age, I don't know that I will ever be gifted enough to write a beautiful, heart-warming, inspiring novel - such as you do - or even write more than a short post, however, I am always open to God's plan for me and I've made that writing beginning, dear Julie. I treasure your friendship and thank God for the blessing you are in my life - love you!!

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  11. Thank you for the beautiful post!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, Melanie - thank YOU for your kind comment and taking the time to stop by and read it!! Bless you!!

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  12. Great post Bonnie! I completely agree with Teresa in that I don't know how people manage to live their lives without God at our side. My relationship with Him and my prayers are what sustain me when nothing else can. Thank you.

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    1. Hi, Loraine!! Your comment re: how one manages without God in his/her life reminds me of the reply from my sweet author friend Julie Lessman when I made that same comment - "they DON'T manage, they just don't know it!!" Amen to that relationship with God - and prayers - sustaining when nothing else can!! Thank YOU for your comments and taking the time to stop by, Loraine - looking forward to "seeing" you again at OWG very soon!!

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  13. I can so relate to what Carrie and her husband are going through. Five years ago next month my husband broke his neck. The doctor said, "by all rights, he should be dead or paralyzed". He was called, the "Miracle Man", on the 4th floor of the hospital.
    We can truly say that prayer does work.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hey Janet, it is Teresa, whose husband Carlton is battling Multiple Myeloma. Please keep them in prayer. That is SO cool about your husband surviving and being one of God's miracle men! PTL!!!

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  14. PTL, Janet!! So glad you and your husband experienced one of God's miracles through prayer!! I'm sure it spoke, not only to his doctors - but many other people, as well. I'm expectantly waiting on that miracle for Teresa and Carlton, also. God is faithful to His followers and ALWAYS on time - His time, the best time for us!! Thank you for your comments and taking the time to stop by.

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  15. Thank you Bonnie for your exceptional post on prayer. You're so right in saying that many do not realized just how powerful prayer is. It is much more so than we even realize.
    I also believe in persistent prayer - as demonstrated in Jesus' story about the corrupt judge and the widow. I read this a little while ago in a story I was reading. The words were from an attorney to a mother who had just been acquitted, and he was explaining how her son persisted to get him to represent her though she had no money. "His persistence told me how much faith he had in your innocence. Just as persistent prayer tells God how much faith we have in Him." Absolutely LOVED that second sentence. Our persistent prayer is actually showing God our faith in Him. And that is what causes mountains to move.

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  16. Oh, Noela - what a beautiful story!! Thank you for that and for your kind comments. I do feel that God rewards our persistence (faithfulness) in prayer/faith in Him. Miracles, truly, are accomplished through prayer - I've witnessed the evidence numerous times.

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