Does prayer make a difference?
Prayer is an important part of my journey with God. This simple act has profoundly impacted my relationship with God and the strength in my faith. I believe as you pray and God answers prayers, your faith grows. This is best illustrated in a story that occurred during a mission trip to South Africa in 2008. While on this trip we stepped out and prayed for people with AIDS, churches, children and families. This was my first experience in praying out loud.
One morning while out in the community, we were getting ready to leave for lunch. A man approached our van and asked our group to pray for him. He had a gauze dressing over his eye and requested for prayer for his eye to be healed. He removed the dressing from his eye, and it was inflamed, full of puss and swollen shut. It looked really yucky. We prayed for him and asked for healing. We got in the van and left for the day. This was like a lot of other prayer experiences during the trip.
As we got back to where we were staying, we began to share our experiences with our small groups, over dinner and with roommates. One of the women in my small group wanted to process through something that happen to her in the afternoon while out in the community. A man approached her and was screaming “thank you, thank you!” He was saying thanks for the prayers for his eye in the morning, as it was now healed. They described that there appeared to be nothing wrong with his eye. They were confused as they hadn’t prayed for anyone and it seemed strange that he was so sincerely and passionately full of gratefulness.
I quickly realized this was a man we prayed for in the morning. God had healed him. I quickly explained to our group my experience in the morning as the first part of the story. This story repeated in many different ways to each person present in the morning. Our mission trip consisted of a group of more than 150 people, so this was not a small mission trip. God connected each person that was out in the morning with someone from the afternoon. This happened as a dinner companion shared a story, work teams, roommates or in small groups. God connected these two parts of the story to allow us to experience the power of prayer. It rocked my world and solidified my faith in a new way. I believed in prayer before this experience, but this experience allowed me to KNOW that I don’t have to see the answers. I am confident that God is listening and that HE gets all the Glory.
Take some time today to pray for someone, knowing you may never know if it is answered. Have faith and know God is listening and moving!