A woman locked herself out of her car as she was hurrying home to help her sick daughter. In desperation, she prayed to God for help to her unlock her car. As she was trying to use an old coat hanger to open the door, a rough looking man on a motorcycle pulled up and parked next to her. He asked if he could assist her and in less than a minute, had the car door unlocked. As she thanked the man, he casually admitted that he had just been released from jail for car theft. When driving home, the woman exclaimed to God, “Not only did you answer my prayer, but you sent a professional!” (Adapted from Sermon Central)
If you read Paul’s letters in the New Testament, you quickly learn that prayer was a priority for Paul. In fact, in the first chapter of many of his letters, he mentions that he has not stopped praying for the people to whom he is writing. In 1 Thess. 5:17, he asks the readers to pray continually.
Paul prayed and asked for prayer because he understood that God has chosen to allow His actions to be affected by prayer. That doesn’t mean that God is obligated to give us anything we ask for, or answer our prayers within the timeframe we demand. That would simply make God our “genie”, somehow under our control.
It is a mystery beyond our comprehension. What we should remember is that God has allowed His actions to be affect by our prayers, not obligated by them. This can cause us to grow in our dependence upon God, recognizing that as we pray, we can impact the world around us.
We should not forget or minimize this method of impact as we go through our busy days making important decisions for our patients. We should recognize our need of prayer from others as well as the potential impact that our personal prayers may have on others. You could even consider taking up the practice of keeping a prayer journal to record your requests and God’s answers.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see and pray for the needs around me today.