Over the years, I’ve come to depend on the men and women who man our prayer lines at The Special Gathering .  At each worship service, we have at least two of our members, usually deacons, who are asked to pray for the other members who come up for prayer. 

At first, I got into the prayer line as an example.  I wanted our members to know that I respected the men and women–their peers–who had been asked to pray for them.  Quickly, though, I came to understand that their simple prayers were powerful.  Now when I say simple prayer, I mean really simple prayer.  “Lord, bless Linda’s friend.”  Or “Lord, heal Linda’s daughter.”  No fluff or puff.  Just a straight shot of prayer into the heart of God.

I especially remember one Sunday morning that everything was going wrong. In those days the Brevard programs were more interconnected.  I had the responsiblity to go from Melbourne to Cocoa many Sunday mornings to conduct both worship services.  I had come in late because of traffic.  When I set up my sound equipment for praise and worship, I found that an important piece of equipment had been left in Melbourne.  I disappointed in myself and frazzled.

Even though I had not expressed by private concerns to anyone, Judy, a member of the choir and a real prayer warrior, understood that I was hurting.  She leaned over during a quiet time in the service and prayed, “Lord, Linda’s upset.  Heal her.  Help her.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”  Instantly, God answered her prayer.   

I admit that during my private prayer time, I still try to impress God.  It isn’t a conscious action but a slow meticulous act of my mind that says to my spirit, “If you let your mind come up with just the right words.  God will be so impressed with your ability to speak a flowery prayer that He is bound, maybe even obligated, to answer.” 

Of course, this is not true but it is a struggle for me to overcome.  However, Carlos sets me back on the right path whenever I listen to his prayer.  “Lord, help Linda.  Help her son and daughter.  Help her grandchildren.” 

Paul’s instructions to Timothy found in chapter 2 verse 2 of Paul’s first letter to his young friend was to pray in every way you know how for everyone you know.  Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? 

Years ago, I did a study on prayer.  While I gleaned some wonderful pointers from the study, it made prayer seem delicate and complicated. Even though I’d been praying from the time I was a small child, deep inside I felt that I was no longer qualified to pray.  It took me a while to come back to an understanding that prayer must remain a simple exercise of a child communicating with her father.  The simplicity of prayer may be the greatest secret to prayer anyone can learn.

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