Volume 3, Day 15
When my sister found out she had cancer, I asked my friends to pray. When she had surgery we prayed that the surgeon would be able to remove all of the cancer. And God answered yes! When I reported the news, one friend remarked, “I’m so glad there’s power in prayer.” I responded, “I’m thankful that God answered with a yes this time.”
James says that “the effective, fervent [passionate] prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5:16). But does “effective” and “fervent” mean the harder we pray, or the more people we ask to pray, the more likely God is to answer with a yes? I’ve had enough “no” and “wait” answers to wonder about that.
Prayer is powerful, but it’s such a mystery. We’re taught to have faith, to ask earnestly and boldly, to persevere and to be surrendered to His will. Yet God answers in His wisdom and His answers are best. I’m just thankful that God wants to hear our hearts and that no matter the answer, He is still good.
I like Ole Hallesby’s words: “Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only those who are helpless can truly pray. . . . Your helplessness is your best prayer.” We can do helplessness quite well.