Sad to say, I understand. Once, for example,' I was spending the night in a
crumbling high-rise in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A friend and I had ascended to our
room on the top floor in a tiny, creaking elevator. From our window I saw slums
spreading far beneath me, and I felt uneasy. That evening I prayed, "Lord, keep
us safe tonight from fire. You can see we're at the top of a dilapidated hotel.
It's nothing but a firetrap. There isn't a fire station nearby, and I can't find
any fire escapes. Lord, You know this towering old building would go up in
flames in a second. Only a spark, then, poof! And, Lord, You saw all those
stacked-up cartons of Marlboros being sold in the streets, and right now this
hotel is full of people falling asleep with cigarettes in their mouths..."
By the time I finished praying, I was a nervous wreck; I hardly slept a wink all night. The next morning, I realized that my bedtime prayer had focused on my negative feelings rather than on God's assurances and promises, and I learned an important truth: unless we plead in faith, our prayers can do more harm than good.
How much better to offer what James called the prayer of faith (James 5:15).
Thomas Watson, the Puritan writer, said, "Faith is to prayer what the feather is to the arrow; it feathers the arrow of prayer, and makes it fly swifter, and pierce the throne of grace."
When you face impossible odds, pray urgently, unfeignedly, unitedly. And trust the great prayer-answering God who grants mercy and imparts grace to help in time of need.
Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001, p. 47 - 48.
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