Years ago we knew a young fellow who used to love to say grace before meals. No matter how briefly or fervently he prayed he always added this comment: "And dear God, help our food to turn to energy and not fat". As you may have guessed his family was dedicated to staying slim and fit. I have no doubt that if they have kept up their routine their persistence has ensured that his prayers were answered.
Going back even longer than that, one of my childhood memories is of my pastor preaching about prayer. Tudor Jones was a short man but filled with fervor and the ability to reach my heart those decades ago. "Be careful what you pray for, Linda," he used to tell me, "Because God answers prayer".
It's taken me a lifetime to learn that His choices are always right- not always easy-but always right. I've had to learn the hard way that while there are some things we can and need to do as our part in the process, there are times when our best efforts simply don't produce the results we need.
During the past few weeks I've been reminded over and over of the need for God's children to support each other in prayer. For example, each week our denominational head office sends out an update informing us of challenges affecting our members. Some weeks there are just a few items on the list, other times the list is long. No request is more or less important than the others and all bear names of those dear to our hearts. It's far too easy to shoot off an email with our good intention tacked onto the note: "I'll be praying for you". Like energy vs. fat, good intentions alone aren't enough.
"Pray for one another" (James 5:16)