For as long as I can recall, it has been important to me to come daily before our Lord in prayer, making my requests for self and others known, in the sure knowledge that our Father listens and responds to all requests from His children which are in His will. Even as a boy, although far from being a Christian, I kept a daily prayer habit. Looking back, I can see many times that Father answered me. I recall that at age twenty, I prayed to meet the girl that I would marry, and the following evening, I met Rebecca at a dance, and she became my wife.
Over the years, I have seen the Lord's hand of protection over me and my loved ones, in many cases saving us from serious injury, disaster, or even death. I had prayed such a prayer for protection for my family and myself on July 14th, an ordinary day in most aspects.
After a pleasant few hours spent in Belleville, Ontario, where Rebecca had bought me a birthday present, we were returning to Picton mid-afternoon. A few miles southbound along Highway 62, we were approaching a car heading north. Seconds later, we saw another car, travelling probably in excess of 100 kilometres per hour, pull over onto our side of the road in an attempt to overtake the northbound car, which by this time was side-by-side with our car! We were in a head-on collision course! I had only a split-second to react, but the Holy Spirit put me on automatic pilot, and without hesitating, I swerved to the right over onto a narrow section of hard gravel shoulder and partly-covered grass. Immediately thereafter, I swerved safely back onto the highway.
All throughout the manoeuvre, the car never skidded at all! It was all over in four or five seconds, and we found ourselves continuing safely along Highway 62 south, fervently thanking our Lord for His previously prayed-for protection! Throughout the whole experience, I felt a supernatural calmness and clarity of vision!
If anyone had told me that there was room for three vehicles to pass alongside each other in those circumstances, at those angles, in those split seconds, without even touching each other, and then to continue on their courses completely unscathed, I would have totally denied such an unbelievable possibility! So I know that sincere prayer is lovingly welcomed and responded to by our Lord!
John 15:7 – If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (NIV)
Days, weeks, months, even years can go by without our seeing evidence of the power of sincere prayer for ourselves and others. This does not mean that prayers have gone unheard or unanswered, but rather that it's a combination of God's perfect timing, our level of trust that the promises of Father and Son are not too much to expect, and our frail ability to be vigilant in expecting and recognizing the fulfillment of prayers which are in our Father's will.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV)
The power of genuine, sincere, God-directed prayer is unstoppable, and is Satan's worst nightmare!
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
It has to be pointed out that one of the greatest barriers to answered prayer is unforgiveness in our hearts. This is so important that Jesus mentioned it in relationship to the Lord's Prayer:
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)
Prayer: Loving Father, thank You for all the blessings that You have poured out to us. Most of all, thank You for our Saviour Jesus. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive all those who have trespassed against us. May Your will be done, not ours. Increase our faith, and help us to see through the eyes of Jesus. May we share His love with the world. We pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen and amen!