EARTH: The Miracle Of Prayer by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

The Miracle Of Prayer by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive his mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
(Hebrews 4:16)

Rich used to take customers, friends, and family members salmon fishing in Alaska and British Columbia. Before heading out in a small boat, he and his companion always checked the gear, such as nets, gaff, compass, and map.

His most memorable trip was with our eldest son, Trevor.  They were so excited one morning that they jumped right in the boat and headed out.  They fished, mostly catch-and-release, and cruised in and out of dozens of small inlets and bays.  When they were ready to head back toward the lodge where they were staying, a dense fog bank fell upon them.  It was so thick that Rick could barely see our son at the other end of the boat.  He wasn’t worried and reached for the compass.  But for the first time in five trips north, Rick had forgotten to check for equipment.  The compass and map were not in the boat.

If he put in toward shore without knowing exactly where he was, they could end up on the rocks.  If he put out into the channel, he could place them in a shipping lane.  Think cruise ship going over a dinghy.  Rick put on a brave face and said, “Don’t worry, son.  I can dead reckon back to the lodge.”

After several hours of going in circles, they were filled with dread.  Rick later said, “I faced the possibility that my stupidity in not checking for the compass and map might very well result in the death of my son, not to mention his dim-witted daddy.”  It occurred to him in that moment that he should turn the navigation over to God.  So he prayed: “Father, I don’t care what you do with me – this mess is my fault.  But please spare my son, who trusted me to get him out and back safely!”

In that moment, God parted a curtain.  The fog split fifty feet away in bright sunshine, right at the small opening of the lodge’s inlet.  God had guided them home.

God’s Word is clear when it directs us to pray – at all times, in all circumstances.  In Hebrews 4 we’re instructed to “come boldly” to God’s throne.  We can approach our majestic God with confidence because he has promised to respond with mercy and grace.  What a blessing!  Our Heavenly Father is always listening, and he always cares.  If you’re ever lost in the fog or “in a fog,” pray.  You might just experience a miracle.

None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience.
(Martin Luther)

REFLECT

Why do you think God encourages us to approach him boldly?  Do you find this easy or difficult?  How can you make prayer a more immediate reaction when you’re faced with challenging situations?

APPLY

Make a list of the times in your life when God answered your prayer – whether in a dramatic fashion, as in Rick’s story, or in a quieter, more private way.  Take a moment to thank him.  Return to this list next time you need help.  It will be a good reminder of God’s continuing, loving care.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Lord God, you are so great, and yet you ask us to come to you with our needs and requests.  Thank you for caring for me.  Please help me to be persistent in prayer, even in those times when I don’t see answers right away.  Help me to remember all the times when you have helped me in the past and to trust in your love and goodness for the future.

In my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
(Psalm 18:6)

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