UnBlog # 499
There are a lot of things in life that are troubling, which challenge us, and threaten us. I have always prayed about these things, and asked for relief, for blessings, for insight, sometimes for years. I have learned to have great faith in prayer, and have learned that the Lord listens and He does answer – most often in a way I was not anticipating.
My father had an element of faith in prayer that still amazes me many years after his passing. I don’t use it very often, nor did he, but it is very powerful when you do.
My dad had great faith that Father would change the weather for him. I saw it happen many times throughout my childhood. When I was a young teen we had gone to work one Saturday on the stake farm. It was a cloudy day, and as we began to work it began to rain. It was not only making the day miserable, but it would make the sugar beets spoil after they were out of the ground because mud clung to them. The brethren running the farm looked around and announced that we were going to stop. We had had an opening prayer a few minutes earlier where the weather was specifically mentioned. My Dad leaned toward me and whispered something about “they didn’t believe in the power of their own prayers”. He closed his eyes. He stood there in the field as others were trudging to their cars. I knew he was praying about the weather.
I was really hoping it would keep raining.
A few cars had pulled away as the clouds grew lighter and the rain stopped. It was still threatening, but a little patch of sunshine settled over the field. People returned and we worked all day in the sun.
Many years later Dad and Mom invited us to a picnic on July 4th at their home. I got up and it was almost a monsoon outside. I called Mom and asked if the party was still on because their house wasn’t big enough to have the party inside. She said, yes the party is still on. Your dad is outside mowing the lawn.
As we drove to their home it was raining hard. A few miles out I could see one donut hole in the dense clouds. Sun was streaming through it like the second coming. As we got closer I realized it was directly over Dad’s house, maybe a block in size. His house and those on every side were sunny. We ate, played games and were just done chatting when the first sprinkles hit our heads. We stood and gathered into the house as the deluge resumed.
I know that my Dad had unusual faith in this thing. Maybe his was a gift of the Spirit that few people have. But, I also know that he didn’t stop praying until he received an assurance that his request, his need or desire had been granted, or declined by Father. He just needed to know His will, and then he stopped praying and proceeded to act upon the outcome he had requested.
A few days ago I was stumped while setting up the UnBlog Family Reunion. We had tried and failed for months to secure a venue. All of the free venues just didn’t return our calls. The commercial venues wanted large sums and sizeable down payments as well as large insurance policies we had to procure.
I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen at all. That evening I remembered my Dad’s faith, and just stayed on my knees, pleading.
It goes something like this: “Please Father, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please bless me to (fill in the blank). I will accept Thy will in all things, but please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please . . .
You get the idea.
Like I said, I don’t know why it works. I only know it does. Sometimes the answer is “no”, but it always works for me. It seems a little impertinent and even demanding. But, pleading, done properly, is not trying to manipulate Him, it is trying to ascertain His will, and being willing to stay on your knees until it comes. Once you have that assurance of knowing His will, then you can move forward with much greater faith.
After I had plead with Father for a time regarding the UnBlog, I received a sudden feeling of peace, not that the reunion was going to happen, but that everything was going to be as Father desired it. I was done. I had my answer. He was in charge.
The very next day things changed. People contacted me offering valuable financial help which made the UVU venue possible for us. We made an appointment to go walk through it, and found it to be perfect. A few days after my pleading prayer, a small feeling of peace, and a willingness to let it mean anything Father intended, the UnBlog Family Reunion was suddenly fully on track.
I’m writing this UnBlog to praise Father, and to thank Him for this answer, and to share with you a somewhat surprisingly powerful form of prayer. I think of it as The Big Guns – to be used when a rifle just isn’t enough.
© July 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.