by Molly Audiss
Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Let’s talk laundry. No thanks? Ok, how about a laundry story instead? When my youngest son Mark was little, he loved to help me with the laundry. Whenever I opened the dryer door, there was Mark, little hands out, wanting to help transfer the wet clothes. I usually handed him a sock or a washcloth as I threw in the rest of the clothes. He got so excited when he got to help me. I just loved seeing the happiness it gave him! Needless to say, the laundry got done whether or not he threw in his little handful, but it was much more enjoyable to me to have him there.
That illustration pictures so well how I feel about prayer. God is so powerful. He does not need any help. He created the entire world without the help of any human being. He does not need me to help Him accomplish His plans, just I as do not need my baby to help me on laundry day; the laundry would get done just the same with or without his help. God’s will is going to be accomplished. God’s will is always done, exactly on time, but, in His grace, the Lord allows me to be a partner with Him through prayer, in the fulfilling of His plans. The Holy Spirit knows the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit then urges my spirit to pray about a matter which He knows is the Father’s will. When I pray for something that is God’s will, it is accomplished, not because of my prayer but because it is His will. In this process, though, I feel close to God because He answered my prayer. This is just like my son’s feeling happy because he helped me with the laundry. God is happy, not because I got my prayer answered (He already knew His will in the matter); God is happy because I wanted to be with Him. Answered prayer makes everyone happy!
Allow me to share a couple of answered prayers to help further explain my point. Years ago, I became burdened about a friend of mine who could not have children. I decided to pray for one year that she would have a baby the following year. I put her name on a 3×5 card and taped it to my treadmill. (I only suggest this reminder if you actually use your treadmill on a semi-regular basis!) I prayed often for her. On Memorial Day of that year, she told me that she was expecting! I immediately started to cry. Imagine how much fun it was for me to attend her baby shower! On top of all that, the Lord allowed her little baby girl to be born on my birthday the next January. I will always look at that precious child and remember how great my God is.
Not long after that, a missionary friend of mine gave me the news that tests showed her unborn child had the most severe type of spina bifida and had fluid on the brain. She asked many people to pray for a miracle until her scheduled C-section, about 3 months away. Again, I wrote her name on a 3×5 card and put it above my kitchen sink. Each time I saw it, I asked God for a miracle. One Wednesday evening an announcement was made at church that this baby had been born and that the little boy was completely healthy! He was born, ahead of schedule, the day after my birthday. What a miracle. God is so good!
Let me ask you, do you think that the fate of these two children’s lives was decided because I prayed? No, God knew these precious children would be born long before the world began. He planned the exact date. My prayers did not bring these events about. But God, in His great kindness, pricked my spirit and burdened me to pray about these situations. God already knew His will in these matters. When I received the answers to my prayers, it created a greater love for God in my heart. It increased my faith and made me want to pray more. It drew me closer to Christ and made me happy. My praying benefited me the most.
That is why, dear lady, I am writing this article on prayer. I am definitely no expert on prayer! I have heard many great Christians preach about this topic, and I realize that communicating with God is a vast and deep subject. Thankfully, talking to the Lord is also so simple that even I can do it! I am talking about one small aspect of this wonderful, powerful tool of Christianity, as someone who found a great recipe and wants to share it. I am no gourmet cook, or prayer warrior, but I have found so much happiness in the little bit I do know. I want you to experience the happiness that comes to your life when you partner with God in prayer. He does not need you, or your prayers. He does want to change you and draw closer to you while you pray. Prayer may change things, but I know it changes people; it changes the one who is praying.
A person that has received answers to prayer on a consistent basis does not doubt their salvation. They know that God is real and that God is working in their lives. Lady, when the Holy Spirit urges you to pray for someone, take that as a sign that God is going to accomplish His will but He is offering you the chance to be a part of His plan. What an honor-Almighty God wanting to use a sinful human being as His will is accomplished! There is nothing like it! Prayer is a privilege. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity to partner with God and get a front-row seat as He brings about His will in our lives and the lives of those around us. Praise the Lord! What request can we bring to the Lord today for someone we love?