Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gods Umbrella

"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

Have you ever laid back in the grass on a lazy Spring afternoon and looked up at the big white fluffy clouds in the sky, and daydreamed about how inviting they appear to be? They truly are amazing to look at. After all, they appear to stretch into the sky for what appears to be eternity. We sometimes lay back and think about how it would feel to climb into one of them, lay back and be enveloped up in the softness.

As awe-inspiring as the Cumulonimbus cloud (that’s the scientific name for them) may be during a beautiful day, the real awe-inspiring work of these clouds comes during a torrential storm. It’s when these clouds are a dark gray, so heavy with the weight of rains that they almost look black, still keeping their ominous shape and size, only this time adding an almost debilitating presence of a thunderstorm with it.

Sometimes life mimics the cycles of the clouds. We have days where everything is beautiful, and it’s not difficult to find a silver lining in the clouds. The days are inviting, and we sometimes just sit back and think about the future, anxious almost to a fault for what lays ahead for us. Other times, our lives are filled with the heavy burdens of the violent storms that loom above our heads, threatening to dump a flood of troubles on us. But there is one big difference between our lives and the stormy cumulonimbus clouds.

Sometimes, the stormy cumulonimbus cloud prays better than we do. That's sad to say, considering they don't pray at all. But sometimes, neither do we.

You see, when the storm clouds roll in, and the rains really begin to fall, it’s usually then that we hear the clouds begin to truly speak with a loud audible presence.

Think about a thunderstorm for a moment. Unless you’re in a coma, it’s almost impossible to ignore the fact that a thunderstorm is raging. And this is an amazing thing when you consider that the cumulonimbus cloud that produces these storms can be as high as 12 miles into the sky! It’s as if we humans are hardwired to have a certain reaction when a thunderclap pierces the sky suddenly. We stop what we’re doing, look toward the direction we heard it, and evaluate the sky for the potential of danger. The amazing thing about thunder is that it gets our attention, whether we hear it or not.

When thunder strikes the windows rattle, the Earth shutters, and our chests feel the vibrations. Sometimes even from 12 miles high into the sky! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could pray with the same amount of power? This of course, would be dependant upon us being willing to open our hearts and minds to God in prayer in the first place.

Sometimes we’re like Moses’ people in that we can be labeled ‘stiff-necked’ about prayer, and this is unfortunate. We know that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). We read the verses dealing with prayer, and even quote them. But we’re slow, and sometimes completely absent from applying it. Don’t you remember that Moses was able to sway God’s anger away from destroying an entire nation who had turned their back on Him just by prayer alone (Ex. 32:7-14)? It was because of the effectual fervent prayer of a single righteous man that saved literally an entire nation of people from utter destruction. This is the amazing power of prayer we can harness ourselves.

We have the promise that whatever we ask for, it will be given to us (1 John 3:22) as long as we ask for it with a righteous mind, seeking to do His will (1 Peter 3:11). God also tells us that we need to pray with a conviction in what we’re asking for, not wavering (James 1:6). Prayer to God is not wasted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It affirms to God that you have your priorities in line, that you are focused on the ultimate goal and that you recognize the importance of Him in your life. This is why He rewards the righteous among us who converse with Him. It is impossible to say that you put God above all else when you won’t even talk to Him.

God gave us the amazing power of prayer, which is by far the most valuable tool we have in order to help ease the load we carry to do His will. Prayer is God’s umbrella for us. It keeps us safe and dry away from the rains that seek to drown us. If you have an umbrella available to you, aren’t you going to use it? Then why neglect the umbrella God provides to you? Pray like the cumulonimbus cloud. Pray with such voracious conviction that you shake the windows, your chest thumps, and the Earth vibrates. Because after all, sometimes the answers to prayer are best felt.

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