“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
The Power of Prayer
By: Fr Anthony St Shenouda
The last few days has been a great testament to the power of prayer. Prayer that works miracles prayer that changes people’s lives. Thousands of people around Australia and the world have been praying to God for a miracle during the tireless search by the NSW police, RFS, and SES for little AJ.
Experiences such as this and many others that we witness on weekly basis from parishioners who ask for prayers or come back to tell us of God’s work in a miracle in their life are a great testimony to God’s care and the power of prayer. But lets not forget something in all the excitement for the miracles. We need to remind ourselves of what prayer is.
Prayer is the way we communicate with God; it is the way we build a relationship with God by talking to Him and Hearing His voice. If that is the case, it would be a great mistake to only want to talk to God in time of need. At least it would not be a relationship of love and adoration but of use and abuse. Imagine a friend who talks to you only when he or she need money or needs someone to talk to because all the other friends stopped talking to him or her. You may, because of the goodness of your heart, keep talking to this person despite knowing that you are being abused yet that does not constitute a healthy relationship by any means.
Prayer is usually referred to as a prayer life. It is a way of life rather a thing we do when we are in great need. It doesn’t mean we should not go to God in time of need but it means we should not only go to him in time of need. When we read the psalms we see King David pouring his heart out to God in time of need in some psalms but he is also offering thanks giving, praising Him for the sun and moon and the stars, and just giving glory to God for His goodness. His life was a praying life that included asking God for help in time of need but it was not just that.
The monastic life is the ultimate life of prayer. Young men and women offer their lives to live in a monastery to pray for the world. When St Anthony of Egypt met St Paul of Thebes who spend seventy years in the desert in the life of prayer, St Paul’s first questions were about the wellbeing of the world and those who live in the cities and villages. Which shows that though he was separated from the world, he was praying for the world. This may seem extreme to some people but if we remember the story when Jesus visited the house of Mary and Martha Jesus commended Mary who sat at the feet of Christ, Luke 10: 42.
This life of prayer is required from every Christian. Miracles such as finding AJ after four days search and many others like it that we have witnessed over the years are God’s way of reminding us of His presence among us and that He is constantly calling us to have this steady relationship with Him in prayer and it is up to us to take him up on His offer.