The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

June 29, 2013

Effectual prayer can change your life

Keeping the Faith column

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Aug. 21, 2002. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Around our office, ASAP frequently appears on messages of all kinds. Call back ASAP. Please respond ASAP. Turn this story over ASAP. The acronym for “As Soon As Possible” has become a standard part of our language, it seems.

However, an e-mail from a friend listing different words in the acronym gave me a new perspective on those four letters that often come with annoying urgency.

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“There’s work to do, deadlines to meet.

You’ve got no time to spare.

But as you hurry and scurry,

Always Say a Prayer.

In the midst of family chaos,

quality time is rare.

Do your best.

Let God do the rest,

And Always Say a Prayer.

It may seem like your worries

Are more than you can bear.

Slow down and take a breather.

Always Say a Prayer.

God knows how stressful life is.

He wants to ease our cares,

And He’ll respond to all your needs ASAP

If you Always Say a Prayer.”

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For years, I’ve believed in the power of prayer, but as I’ve learned to pray in a more organized way, I continue to be amazed at the results.

It’s tricky to pray specifically about things without trying to tell God what to do. Sometimes, I find myself trying to manipulate the Lord to do what I want Him to do in a specific situation. When I realize what I’m doing and refocus on praying for His will to be done, results come in phenomenal ways.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that when I pray about a difficult relationship and begin praying specifically for another person, I’m the one who begins to change.

My prayers have changed from sounding more like a child’s letters to Santa Claus to a more balanced agenda of praise, thanksgiving, petitions, intercession and requests for the willingness to accept God’s answers in whatever ways He chooses to send them.

A co-worker told me a frequent prayer she uses is this — “Lord, please come into this situation, touch it with Your will and Your wisdom and help me accept whatever You choose to do.”

Let me tell you, it’s a prayer that works.

Because feelings are so closely tied in with many of my requests, I have often asked the Lord to give me a new set of emotions about a situation. That lesson came from another dear saint God sent into my life at a critical time.

Allowing God to change my perspective almost always brings a swift resolution to the problem. I guess it’s like the old song says, “It’s not my brother nor my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

Prayer is, indeed, a powerful thing. I used to be amazed that it could move mountains.

Now, I’m amazed that it can move me.

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