There’s a comic strip showing two insects. The smaller one asks the larger one: “What kind of insect are you?” The larger answers, “I’m a praying mantis.” “That’s absurd. Insects don’t PRAY!” replied the smaller one. The praying mantis then grabs the smaller bug by the throat and starts squeezing!” In desperation, the tiny bug says, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
We DO pray to God in times of desperation, don’t we? That’s actually a good thing. In the Old Testament when Hezekiah, was about to die, he prayed in desperation, and was healed. In the New Testament, a leader of the synagogue, Jairus, came to Jesus in desperation when his daughter was near death. When Jesus was delayed by another healing, the 12-year old girl died. Before long, Jesus raised her to life.
For both Hezekiah and the daughter of Jairus, prayers of desperation led to a “new lease on life.” That doesn’t mean that God will always heal us in this exact way. But it DOES mean that healing comes from God. It DOES mean that, as believers, we depend on God for healing. And so we pray.
When we turn to God, there will ALWAYS be healing. It may not be the healing we ask for, or even the healing that we hope for. It certainly might not happen in our timeframe. But God always heals. It’s what God does! Along with physical healing (including the use of intelligence God gave us, along with the miracles of modern medicine and technology), God always gives us spiritual, mental, emotional, and social healing.
Christian writer Anne Lamott says that her two favorite prayers are “Help me! Help me! Help me!” and “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” We should certainly pray when the life is being choked out of us. We ought to pray in thanksgiving when God’s life and grace is being poured into us.
Christian prayer isn’t some type of magic. The prayers we lift are not some magical formula, a hocus pocus. Prayer is an expression of our relationship with God. I suggest that you resist taking credit for your prayers getting things done. God gets it done! Give God ALL the glory.
At the same time, we ARE talking about Almighty God, who invites us to pray. So never underestimate the power of prayer. Pray in desperation. Pray often. Pray in thanksgiving. Give God all the glory!