Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!
Sometimes we get good news!
Joe and Sandra Shaw are long time close friends of Karla and yours truly. Joe had heart surgery recently, had some complications (not a word you want to use in conjunction with heart surgery) and had to be re-admitted to the hospital. In the midst of this, their grown grandson, Nick, had lost significant weight without trying, and the doctors’ initial thoughts were “leukemia.” That’s not good news!
But Joe, Sandy, Nick are all very strong Christians, so, not only at their great home church of Grace Baptist Church of Portland Maine, pastored by their wonderful pastor, Rev. Gary Ouellette, but around the world prayers went up on their behalf. That’s a good thing!
One familiar Christian cliché goes like this, “Prayer changes things, but the thing that it changes most is the person praying.” Fantastic. (sarcasm alert!) According to this thought, prayer is some eastern inner meditating process that cleanses us and brings us closer in touch with some mystical higher power. That’s baloney (#1) and that’s unbiblical (#2). Jesus prayed, and He didn’t need to change at all. Jesus is, was, and always will be, absolutely without need of change. The Apostle Paul prayed for others’ well-being, and he requested prayer for himself. The Bible tells us “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV). God says (forget the clichés) that prayer availeth much (there are certifiable results), that it may result in healing, and that we are to pray for one another! And the following verses give two concrete examples of real results: (James 5:17-18) “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. (That’s one) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (That’s two). And the rain was not a figment of someone’s imagination! It was real wet rain that you could feel, clean up in, and drink. Prayer is real and effectual.
Oh yes, the text came in this morning that the doctors found a spot on Joe’s heart that was misfiring, did an oblation, and believe they have solved the problem. And one more thing; the tests results came back on Nick. They were marked “negative.” Nick does not have leukemia!
Prayer changes “Things!” Sure it changes us in the process, but that’s collateral. When you prayed and asked Christ into your heart, real things happened. You were adopted by God into His family, and you were deeded a brand new mansion in Heaven. Sure, it changed you as well, and that’s a great thing, but let’s never minimize in the slightest way, even with well-meaning clichés, the supernatural changes that are wrought through prayer to our God Almighty!
Prayer changes “Things.”
Love and Prayers to you all,