Friday, December 3, 2010

Distress: Do Prayers Matter?

By Melissa Milbourn

This Week’s Verse: 1 Kings 8:49, “then hear their prayers and their petition from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause.” (NLT)

Devotion: Recently, while going through a season of distress, a friend reached out to me. This friend is not in my day-to-day life, so she really had no way of knowing what I was dealing with, or going through each day...but God did.

She reached out saying that God had put me on her heart and that she was praying for me, and is praying for me. This happened about a month or two ago, and God has not changed my circumstances. But what has changed is ME. Through her prayers, God has changed me, and because of that, I am able to handle the situation I'm in much better. I can see and feel the difference, because of her prayers.

In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul is talking about a season of distress and what helped him through, and here is what he says:

"8-11We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. YOU AND YOUR PRAYERS ARE PART OF THE RESCUE OPERATION—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part."

Maybe you've been praying for yourself, or someone else, and you feel as if your prayers don't matter. Be reminded today, that God hears your prayers, and your prayers make difference. Your prayers are part of the rescue operation. Keep praying!

Dear Father, if a woman reading this needs prayer, I lift her up to you now. Just as you placed my friend in my life to pray for me, I lift these women up to you. Lord, please help us to remain women of faith as You continue being our light, our love, and our encourager. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: Is God placing someone on your heart? Maybe it is because you are to pray for her. In some circumstances, the Lord will want you to tell her you are praying for her. In others, he might want you to remain silent. Whatever the case, pray for your Christian girlfriends! We all could use some encouragement from time to time!

Power Verses:

Daniel 2:21, “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. 
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” (NIV)

James 5:16-18, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.” (MSG)

Genesis 35:3, “Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” (NKJV)


*~Christine~* said...

Love it. Prayer = powerful.

Sandy22 said...

Love your blog and excellent post on prayers mattering. They sure do and I love it when someone says to me, "I will prayer for you." Some times we don't like the answer that God send our way but He does listen and he responds.

Melissa Milbourn said...

Bethany, Thank you for finishing this devo up for me. Great job on application and scriptures.

Much love friend.