The Prayer Engine

In dealing with the personal experience as it pertains to God, we cannot neglect mentioning the power of prayer. If a personal God exists, then He would want to speak with us. Prayer is the language by which we speak to God. It is true that God is omnipotent and knows our heart at any given moment, but there is something special about finding a quiet place, sitting down, and talking to God. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing”, and you will find many people who pray in their vehicles on the way to work, in their homes, at the car wash… just about anywhere. We need not fold our hands and get on our knees every time we utter something to God. If we speak it, He can hear us.

I am blessed to have a true prayer warrior in my own family. If there is a fast track to Heaven, she is on it. My grandmother Kathleen is 92 years old. She has been praying almost all of her life. One afternoon over lunch, I went to visit her. My aunt and uncle were also present. I decided to pose 6 questions about prayer to all of them. What follows each question below is a paraphrased summary of their responses, with my own comments in brackets.

1.) Does Prayer Work?

Yes [everyone answered emphatically on this point].

2.) How do you Know Prayer Works?

Things so often turn out the way you want, after you have prayed about it. [There were actually so many prayer success stories here, that we had to work to trim them down to just a few]. There was actually one time in particular, when I [my aunt] was looking for a job and came across an advertisement for a high school religion teacher. I was uncertain about applying for this at first. As it happened I was soon recruited to be a chaperon for one of the student trips, and we were all riding in a bus together. Many of the students were listening to a radio, and I remember praying the prayer, “God if you want me to apply for this teaching job, play the song American Pie on the radio.” All joking aside, the VERY NEXT song was American Pie. And it continued to play 3 more times on the radio intermittently during the rest of the bus ride. I knew it was more than coincidence. I applied for the job, and got it! It turned out to be one of the most interesting and fulfilling jobs I have ever held.

3.) How has prayer made a difference in your life?

It settles your nerves and keeps you calm. It allows for a transfer of responsibility from your shoulders, directly onto God’s shoulders. If ANYONE needs help, they should pray. Because the God you are praying to can see farther down the road than you can – He knows what you need before you do.

There was one story in particular that comes to mind here. When my husband was in the military [Kathleen is speaking now], I had the same dream off and on for 3 nights. The dream was about my husband laying in a ditch somewhere out in the field. I could tell he was in trouble, and he didn’t move – just laid there. Some time later when he returned from the war we discussed this occurrence. He told me that at one point they were out on patrol, and he heard the voice of the enemy – he was forced to jump down into a low-lying ditch. He had stayed there all night. When his fellow soldiers found him the next day, they couldn’t believe he had survived the night alone, surrounded by the enemy. As it turned out, the timing on this matched when I was having those dreams!

4.) How do you View God?

He is the great protector. No one loves or protects you more than God. We are all His children, and I can’t stand to see people mistreating each other.

5.) Do you Have Any Tips for Praying?

[Kathleen] I always pray that people will be healthy, good Christians, and good role models. It is better to thank God first, so as not to be constantly bombarding Him with only personal requests.

[My aunt] Begin with praise for God, move on next to repentance, continue on to asking for things, and then finally you can end with petitioning God on behalf of yourself.

6.) What Would You Say to Someone Who Doesn’t Have Prayer in His or Her Life?

You don’t know what you are missing. It calms your fears.

I think [my uncle speaking] that prayer allows you to be separate and apart from your worries and problems. It frees you up.

Many have had a bad taste by looking in on “religion” from the outside, seeing only the rituals and hypocrisy of certain churches. But they haven’t experienced Jesus. That is different.

There are so many suicides and cases of depression today. I think lack of prayer, and lack of the knowledge of something greater adds to this.

The questions above were designed to get people thinking about the grace of prayer. All the people involved in the discussion that day were able to fill an encyclopedia with stories of prayers fulfilled, and lives changed. I was only there for an hour, but it could have gone for a day. It seems clear from the Bible that we were created to be in communion with God via the saving grace of Jesus, and by the language of prayer. Prayer operates like an engine, able to sustains us continually and operate in even the most difficult circumstances.

My grandmother finished with the following statement. I feel there is nothing else that needs said, so I will end this chapter with her words: “I pray that God gives the gift of Faith to all of my children and grandchildren, and I am grateful every day because I know He will.”



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