We had a good monsoon last evening. My son and I had taken his electric guitar up to AZ Music in North Phoenix. He needed new strings and a small repair, so we brought it up to their repair shop around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. He browsed around, looked at guitars and amps, and then asked me if we could drive over to Scottsdale to Guitar Center. It is quite a drive for us, about 15 minutes on the freeway, and being that it was late in the day, I really wasn't too hip to go. I relented, of course; especially after he gave me that pleading look that said, "Mom, I really will die if I cannot go and see all the new guitars and amps there."
Off we went, and we got to the store about 4:30. The clouds were dark and stormy over the Salt River Indian Reservation, but I didn't think too much of it. We must have been inside the store for an hour or so (they were packed), and when we finally got ready to leave, we saw the rain coming down. Well, let's just say we saw sheets of rain, and very little else. It was raining so hard that car alarms in the parking lot were going off on their own. We ended up having to stay for about 25 more minutes, just to wait the rain out. Finally, we left for home, but stopped to eat at Arby's first. By the time we got home it was 7 p.m. Our house got a good wallop of rain as well, but everything here seemed OK. Lots of tree debris in the street, and my Mom said that a tree fell on a car in the Fry's Grocery store parking lot (down the street). Overall, it was a typical monsoon storm, and it gave a good dousing of rain.
As I think about the rain, I am reminded about Elijah and his answered prayer. Elijah prayed for there to be no rain, and there was no rain for 6 months. He prayed again, and the heavens opened and the rain began. The power of prayer is beyond our imagination and our understanding. We pray in shallow little bursts, typically about silly little things, without any real thought to whether or not they will be answered. We want them to be answered but our line of thinking is like this: I prayed, and now am trusting God. Yep, that is it. One prayer on the matter, and it is it. Now I am not saying that we shouldn't trust God for answering our prayers, but the Word in James 5:16 KJV says a "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."
Prayer can change our lives; prayer can bring healing of all sorts of distress. The key in James is this: the pray must be offered up after confession, and on the part of another (not just yourself). Then clearly the Word tells us for prayer to be effectual (to have effect -- to work), it must be offered by a person in right standing with God (righteous). Therefore, if you are praying about yourself all the time and not receiving much answer or healing, consider praying for others and see if that doesn't just shake loose some power from heaven.
I confess to you now that over the course of this past year, I have prayed 99% of the time for myself. I have prayed for my husband, and I have prayed for my son as well as my parents/parents in law. But truthfully, the majority, the super majority of my prayers have been for myself alone (for healing, for comfort, for needs, etc.) I do believe that we should pray for these things as well as pray for others; but we know in the Word that when we pray for the needs of others, we unleash healing into their lives. I believe (and while I have no documentary proof of this -- only experiential proof) that we also receive healing by extension. Therefore, my faulty logic suggests that if we devoted 99% of our prayer time to the needs of others, we would not need to spend so much time praying for ourselves. Our lives would be radically healed and changed simply through the effectual prayers on behalf of our friends, our family, and our church.
I confess this to you now that I have spent far too little time praying for the needs of others. I have focused on me and my situation, and while you have Graciously healed me, and helped me -- I know that there are effectual prayers waiting to be received up into heaven if I would only offer them on behalf of others. I ask that you bring someone to my rememberance today, someone that I could recall in prayer and then I ask you to do whatever it is that they need done. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.