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Karyn’s Talk: Why Pray?
For I am the Lord, I do not change. — Malachi 3:6
God has unchanging character. He is who He is. But according to the Bible, He can and will change His mind!
in Genesis 18:16-33 (Ezra – could you give a brief description of what was going on in these cities?)
Abraham is standing before God, actually praying for Sodom and Gomorrah and pleading that the Lord would reconsider His plan to destroy the evil cities. Abraham started by asking God not to wipe out the cities if he found fifty righteous people there. God agreed, but, sadly, not even fifty righteous people could be found. So Abraham prayed again. After some back and forth, he gradually worked the number down to just ten.
But there weren’t even ten righteous people in either of those rebellious cities and God did wipe them out. But Abraham learned that he could communicate with God in prayer and his prayers made a difference
Moses knew this, too. In Exodus 32:9-10 (Cyndi do you mind giving a short paraphrase of why God wanted to destroy and start over?),
God was on the brink of destroying the entire nation and starting over again with Moses. But Moses pleaded with God to turn aside from His intention of judgment and spare the people.
So what happened?
The Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people. — Exodus 32:14
Can you imagine? The Creator of the universe relented from his own plan because Moses prayed.
One tiny dust speck of a human on one little pebble of sand of a planet in the whole giant universe called on the God who made it all to change His mind about the future of a nation.
And that’s what God did.
He can and will change His mind when His people pray. And when we pray, we can remind Him of His unchanging character. He is compassionate. He is merciful.
So all that being said – sometimes outcomes aren’t what we think we are praying for. LIke Abraham, for example, he was hoping to see the cities spared – but they weren’t. Many, many years ago, my friend Kathy had cancer. It was her second battle with it, and it was awful, and scary. Her health got so bad that she needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. By a miracle, a close match was found- a match that usually could only be found in family, but this donor was a stranger. The transplant went well, and Kathy would be in the hospital for a while to recover. After some time, she took an unexpected turn. Her health took a hard hit. Everyone we knew, and many we didn’t, were praying. Day and night, we prayed. My kids were little at the time, and we made this video for Kathy:
Days after we sent this video to her in the hospital, one of my closest friends, someone who was at the birth of my kids, who I shared countless laughs with, who I could be myself in all my awkwardness and quarks, someone who’s attention span was as fleeting as mine, someone with a compassionate, giving, generous heart- her body failed. Her husband and her 3 kids had to say good bye to this incredible woman. My brain could not understand how God could allow this. I didn’t know what so say or how to pray.
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
All I had in me were wordless groans. A while later I went back and watched the video we made, and God gave me the gift of seeing something. He didn’t answer our prayers how I wanted them answered.. but everything we prayed for happened. Kathy is not in pain. Kathy has a new body. Kathy has been fully healed and experiencing greater joy than she could ever know on Earth.
You guys, your prayers matter. They matter in your relationship to God, they matter for your health, they matter for making a change in this world. Let’s pray.
1. Ezra E
13. Ezra W