Prayer!! That is a word that any person who has attended Chapel Oaks at least one time has heard. Can we ever hear too much about prayer? I believe the answer is a resounding NO.

Sabbath, March 4 has been designated as the International Women’s Day of Prayer. Here are some thoughts provided by Heather-Dawn Small, Women’s Ministry Director of the General Conference.

Is there an ideal time or place for prayer? Ellen white tells us in Prayer “There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God” (p. 223). We can pray to God at any time. Paul reminds us in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Earthly monarchs have strict protocol that prevents people from casually approaching them. In contrast, with the God of the Universe, the Almighty and Holy God, we can enter His presence anytime, night or day.

As we come to God in prayer, He has the power to transform or change our lives, our situations, and so much more. God does not ask us to change before we approach Him, He invites us to come just as we are, and He changes us.

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT).

Did you know that prayer can change our lives? Prayer can change a situation, or it can change us. As we meet our Father in prayer, the Holy Spirit changes us into a “glorious image.” The image of Jesus Christ. 

(The following is a true story.) 

In a small town, a certain man who owned a number of liquor stores began construction on a new store to increase his business. The new store was being built just across the road from the local church. The church members started a campaign to block the bar from opening. They decided to meet for prayer and fasting asking God to intercede on their behalf. 

Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the liquor store and it burned to the ground. The church folks rejoiced, until the store owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church strongly denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's end when it replied to the court.

At the end of the trial the judge commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this case. It appears that we have a liquor store owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”

Acts 12 tells a similar story. Peter had been imprisoned by Herod. The church had a prayer meeting in the home of Mary, the mother of Mark, to pray for Peter’s release. God heard and answered their prayer. He sent an angel to release Peter from prison and guide him safely to the home of Mary where the believers were praying. The reaction of the believers when Rhoda, the servant girl told them that Peter was at the gate is interesting and a bit unbelievable. The Bible says that Rhoda knew it was Peter’s voice but when she told them they doubted it. Weren’t they praying for this exact outcome? Yet they doubted it was Peter at the gate.

When we pray do we believe God will answer? And when God answers do we believe He answered or do we try to figure out a more concrete and logical answer, never really believing that God did it for us?

I encourage you to meet with God regularly in prayer. He wants you to tell Him your joys, your wishes, your fears, your pain and He wants to change you into the image of Jesus.  Come to the Father, to the foot of His throne, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV). - by Heather-Dawn Small, Women’s Ministry Director of the General Conference and intro by Reba Lucky. 

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