I've been pondering prayer for a few months now. I went through a stage where I lost faith in prayer. I've always believed that God answers prayer, that prayer is powerful, that prayer can move mountains etc - you know, all the Bible responses, but it's been a while since I've actually SEEN something come about from prayer, like an answer. No, wait, not just an answer, but something tangible and immediate. I felt that for a long time I made excuses for why something I asked for wasn't responded to, as in, IN TIME, or NOT ENOUGH FAITH, or you're being SELFISH, etc.
Then I started hanging out with people who practice praying, a lot. And I started seeing prayer and answer take place. And a new thought process began to form and God began to challenge me on my use of a familiar phrase, "I'll pray for you." And I began to realize that although I used the phrase a lot, in a lot of different situations, I rarely followed through. Maybe I said a quick "Dear Jesus..." but that was the extent. I was putting no work behind the words; faith without deed is dead (James 2:17). And so I began to wonder, if my loss of faith in the power of prayer was directly related to my disobedience ... I stopped believing prayer actually worked because I was counting on something that actually wasn't taking place.
Granted God doesn't fit into the box that I tend to put Him in, but at the same time it could be possible that prayer isn't working because we aren't praying. I lost my faith in prayer because I paraded around saying that I indeed prayed when I did not and couldn't understand why my requests weren't answered.
Could it be that we don't see prayer working because when we tell each other we're praying we really aren't? False Hope? Oxymoron?
Just some food for thought.
Maybe a challenge. Let's put some action behind our words. Why not test the Lord and see if He doesn't open up the flood gates of Heaven? I believe that there is supernatural power in prayer. I've seen teenagers pray for one another and healing take place. I know it works, so why don't we use it a little more faithfully, a little more diligently.
And now that you're thinking about it, practice it, by asking the Lord to get that truck ready so that Dad and I can start our adventure to Oregon next week =)