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DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Much is accomplished through prayer

People who separate "thoughts and prayers" from action may be putting their trust in princes, rather than where it belongs.

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Rev. Paul McKibben

“My thoughts and prayers are with you.” We have all said that to someone at some point. Does it mean anything?

Recently, I have heard several on the national scene say, “We need more than thoughts and prayers. We need action.” On the surface, that may sound right in certain situations. There comes a time when the answer to our prayer is taking action. However, I don’t think that is what they mean when they say that.

Rather I feel like some are saying your prayers do not mean anything; we are going to take this into our own hands. Are they really saying God will not answer or has not answered, so we will do it our way? The world is full of people who have said that and lived to regret it.

There was a day when our political leaders, even though they were not the epitome of righteousness themselves, would always ask for prayer in a time of crisis – even declaring days of prayer and fasting. Now it seems we have given up on prayer to God and are asking people to trust in the government.

The Bible has many stories of men who felt that way and lived to regret it. King Saul would not wait for Samuel to come offer a sacrifice before a battle. God was not happy.

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Saul again, when he was told to kill and destroy all the Amalekites, kept some alive. God said through Samuel, “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 15:23).

I have two questions for you. Do you believe God answers prayer? And do you pray?

George Muller, in his day, determined to prove that God answers prayer and was led to start orphanages. He ended up feeding and taking care of thousands of children through prayer. God proved Himself to the people of that time.

Everyone who has been a Christian for very long knows we don’t always see our prayers answered the way we want them to be answered. However, as we grow in our understanding of God and what He wants, we learn to surrender our ways to His. The prayer God delights to answer is the prayer that begins in God’s heart.

In a world that seems to be racing to deny God and God’s creation, can we be the people of God who show the world that God is living and does answer prayer?

In the March 31 edition of the Enterprise, there was a section on “2021 Progress.” In that section, they listed stories of new and old businesses in our area, and how they are thriving in spite of the COVID-19 hardships. I want you to know that there are many in this community praying for our community to prosper. There is a Facebook post regularly reminding us to pray for Park Rapids. Those stories showed me that God is hearing our prayers.

Are you a prayer denier or a believer that God answers prayer?

Rev. Paul McKibben is pastor of Grace Community Church in Osage

Related Topics: FAITH
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