I loved my cowboy boots when I was four. They were black with pointy toes that my dad referred to as “cockroach in a corner killers.” I wore them faithfully until I outgrew them. I clunked around in them just about everywhere. It didn’t matter if they were the appropriate shoes for the occasion; they were my favorite.
In my early years, I learned a lot from my mom such as the importance of compassion for others. We had a neighbor lady who contracted cancer. My mother was concerned about her and checked on her frequently. I even remember a time when we loaded her in our car and took her to see her doctor. On one occasion, my mother tells me, I walked over to our neighbor’s house and asked her if I could pray for her. I’m told that I went in and knelt, cowboy boots and all, and prayed for that neighbor lady. The neighbor later told my mom that seeing a little tyke, cowboy boots clomping into her house to pray for her wellness, moved her deeply. Mom tells me that this lady experienced a period of remission after this. Please note, I’m not taking credit for anything here, but rather am portraying that prayer is powerful. Prayer is powerful, but not because of who prays. And while I’m sure my neighbor was touched by the gesture and simple prayer I offered, the power of prayer then, now, and always resides in God who hears it and answers.
Prayer for others lovingly and sincerely offered resonates with our compassionate Lord, God. He knows who we are and where we are in our journey of life, and I believe He listens for our heart when we pray, and our eloquence or lack thereof matters little at all. I’m convinced that the strongest prayers cannot even be put into words. I also believe that no sincere prayer ever goes unanswered, even though the answer may come much later, or in a form other than the one we’d hoped for. Prayer is not about always getting what we ask for, but about aligning our compassion and desires with God’s will, wisdom and power.
At four, I did not have the understanding to ask for remission, but I had the understanding that when someone was sick you asked God to help them. My boots were slightly too big for my small stature, but when I walked with childlike faith to ask God to help our neighbor, the love of God stepped into my shoes and touched her. Likely, twenty minutes later I was off playing and gave the matter no further thought, but that prayer breathed by a child was resonating in the heart of a mighty God.
Maybe someone you know needs prayer and you feel small and ill-equipped to pray. Learn from my little experience that it is God that makes prayer powerful. It is God that turns uneducated requests into specified and appropriate answers. But know also, that when you pray, God utilizes your obedience to speak passionately to the needs of those you pray with and for. Anyone can pray. You can pray. All we need to know is that there is a need and there is a need-meeting God. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New Living Translation) “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
You never know how big an impact a small act of compassionate prayer can make, but you can be certain that when all is done, God will answer prayer with the largess of His wisdom, compassion, love and power, even if we do not understand the answer at the time. When even the smallest of us kneel to pray, the Great and Mighty Lord God Almighty stoops near to listen.
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.