Prayer is the most powerful tool at a Christian's disposal. Paul lists it as the final part of his Christian armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), and then asks the Ephesians to "Pray also for me." For him, prayer was like the nuclear weapon of the Christian arsenal, even able to attack Satan on his own turf and to demolish spiritual strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Paul depended on prayer every day, because he wasn't working primarily in the physical realm, but in the spiritual realm and, even though prayer is powerful and effective in helping us to deal with physical issues, it is even more vital when we are taking on spiritual issues.
For the last year, I have been fighting cancer, including surgery, radiation treatments and chemotherapy. The doctors and technicians have been amazed at how strong I have been, and how I have been able to keep my spirits up in spite of often feeling lousy.
And every time they have commented on it, I have pointed directly to the prayers of God's people that have been lifted up for me. I am humbled by the number of people who have told me, "You are in our prayers," and at how powerful those prayers have been! I am now (finally!) done with the chemotherapy, and my prognosis is pretty good. It's going to be four to six months before I am back to something approaching normal energy levels and strength.
But I do more than just receive prayer. Every year (April to April to coincide with our denomination's "Church Year") I set a goal to walk every street in Woodburn, praying for every home and business that I pass. So far I haven't made it to every street, but this year I am going for it again. I have gotten my strength back enough to get moving on that goal, and I have been walking and praying consistently since the first of this month.
As I walk, I pray for each house or business that I pass that God's peace would fill that place, and that any of God's people who live or work there would be filled with his presence, his power and his grace.
If you see me walking past your house or business (I normally wear a big straw cowboy hat and sunglasses when it's warm and a black fedora when it's cooler), know that I have prayed these good things for you, your family or your workers. If you come out and talk to me, you can let me know other things that I can pray for you and your family, and I will do that on the spot. And if you miss me when I am on your street, but have things that you need prayer for, you can contact me with that request at the email address at the end of this article.
I am grateful to have experienced the power of prayer working in my own life, and it is a great joy for me to be able to pray for others, and to watch God work in the circumstances of their lives as well.
Do I believe in prayer? You bet I do!