Five Minutes can Make a Difference

Luke 21:36 Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man." (THE MESSAGE)

I was looking forward to going home! It had been a hectic day at school and as I hurried to set up my class for the next day, give some feedback to my colleague in training, and gather up my things to leave, I was already anticipating my far-too-brief overnight reprieve from all of this. Just as I was walking out the door, however, my trainee remembered a question she wanted to ask me. Sigh. My trip home would be further delayed . . .

Fortunately it wasn't a question that required a long response, and just five minutes later than anticipated, I was finally on my way. Sometime during the day, the dreary, chill world had become changed into a winter wonderland. White, fresh snow covered up the bare grayness that had been with us for so many days, transforming the stark bleakness into living splendor. But I have lived in Canada long enough to know that with all of its beauty, the snow could also transform the roads into skating rinks! Caution would be a necessity for today's homeward trek!

I was happy to see that the highway seemed to be moving at a decent pace. This usually meant that the roads weren't too slippery. Just before the mall exit, however, the traffic slowed to a crawl. I casually wondered what might be happening up ahead. Maybe a snowplow was slowing down the traffic, or perhaps someone had lost his dog and was stopped in the middle of the highway. Instead of worrying about it, I began to sing along with the praise music that poured from my CD.

It was a few minutes before I was close enough to the cause of the slow-down to discover what had happened. A badly damaged vehicle with a front end that resembled an according was in the ditch, its driver slumped up over the steering wheel. There was a truck and another damaged car blocking the right lane as well; but there weren't any police cars yet. That meant that the accident must have just happened, perhaps during the last five minutes . . .

Not knowing what else to do, I started praying for the driver. While I was praying, I was overcome with the impression that if I had left work at the time I had wanted to, just five minutes earlier, I would have been the motionless driver slumped over the steering wheel. I wasn't 100% sure that this thought didn't originate in my imagination, however. Had that five-minute question from my student teacher REALLY been my lifesaver?

I was still pondering the whole thing when my wife arrived home from work. She was barely in the door when she asked: "Did anything happen around the time you left work?"

I stared at her. Why would she ask THAT? But before I could gather my wits about me enough to ask, she said, "Around 3:30 today I had this urgent need to pray!"

I shook my head, my mouth hanging open in amazement. This was confirmation! God really HAD used that five-minute question to protect me from disaster!

So often you hear people wondering why they should pray, if their prayers really make a difference. After all, God knows everything, doesn't He? And His will WILL be done, no matter what!

But no, our prayers DO make a difference. All through my prayer life, I have seen God at work performing miracles. He cares, and He wants us to be in a loving relationship with Him. Without prayer, communication with God would be impossible. Prayer is like oxygen for our soul.

Prayer is never a one-way communication, however. God always replies to our honest conversation with Him. The problem is that we are often so preoccupied by our own circumstances that we don't listen to His response! But when our hearts are open to the prompting of His Spirit, prayer makes a difference.

If you don't believe it, just ask my wife!

Do you have five minutes to communicate with your Maker? It could mean the difference between life and death. Come to Him and enjoy His loving embrace.

Rob Chaffart

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