Praying / by daniel hamlin

 South Island of New Zealand, 2017.

South Island of New Zealand, 2017.

Sometimes life seems overwhelming. We like to think we’re in control and independent, but the reality is that we are not. Whatever control we think we have can be removed in a split second. Tragedy can strike without cause or notice. There are times when we are forced to face the hard reality that sometimes the only thing we can do is pray. It can seem like an insufficient response. There is something in us that wants to be able to tangibly control things. Many people even ridicule other’s prayers as pointless and call it a waste of time. I understand the desire to tangibly do something, to tangibly help in some way. I understand that there are times when action on our part is required. The Bible says that to the person who knows what the right thing to do is yet doesn’t do it; to that person it is sin. So I’m not advocating the avoidance of duty disguised as the offering of prayers. But there are times in life when no action on our part will help, when there is nothing we can do in our own power to change a situation. In such circumstances prayer is our only option. If I’m being completely honest it often feels as though simply praying weren’t enough in those situations.

            But the reality is that prayer is one of the most powerful forces on earth. I’ve been reminded of this truth lately. Jesus often withdrew Himself into solitude in order to get alone to pray. He prayed throughout His time on earth. Prior to the crucifixion Jesus prayed, and during the crucifixion Jesus prayed. If prayer was an appropriate response for Jesus, then certainly it is an appropriate response for us.

            Prayer is multi-faceted and there are many reasons to pray as well as many effects of prayer that I won’t go into right now. I’ve simply been reminded of the power of prayer lately and I’m thankful we have such a gift. If Jesus prayed, then how much more should we?