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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

'Impossible' Prayers

"The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]." - James 5:16 AMP

In recent years, God has been teaching me how to pray for the "impossible" in other people's lives, so that He may reveal Himself to them in life-changing ways. For instance, when I told a dear lady on my dentist's staff that I was expecting my first grandchild, she told me that she would never be able to experience that blessing herself. When I asked her why, she began listing numerous reasons - all very convincing ones - why her grown children were destined to remain childless. I felt a stirring in my spirit, and I told her that I was going to pray that she would soon be a grandmother. She laughed and thanked me, but it was obvious that she had her doubts. The next time I saw this woman, she was the very proud grandmother of a beautiful baby boy. When she began to thank me profusely, I told her, "Don't thank me, thank God! All I did was pray."

One time years ago, when I went to get my hair cut, my hairdresser told me that her brother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. This man was told by his doctors that he would not live much longer, even with all the treatment they offered. I told my hairdresser that I would pray and stand in faith for his total recovery. Each time I had my hair done after that, she told me how her brother's health was steadily improving. I continued to pray for him, and now, many years later, this man is living a healthy and active life. You can bet that his entire family has learned a valuable lesson about God's love, mercy, and power. And I thank God that He led me to persist in prayer for this man, even though his doctors had given him a death sentence.

Two years ago, weather forecasts for the upcoming winter in my area were downright depressing. All signs pointed to us having an especially severe winter. Instead of receiving these negative reports at face value, I turned to the Lord in prayer. I told Him that I knew that He was in control of the weather, and I asked Him to send us a mild winter, in spite of the dismal forecasts. As it turned out, we had one of the mildest winters on record. And when the weather people were declaring that we were going to suffer for it, I asked the Lord to keep that from happening, and to make sure that our mild winter would only benefit us. God answered that prayer. And I enjoy reminding people that if we will pray for the Lord's intervention, instead of mindlessly believing and agreeing with the negative reports we hear, He just may surprise us by showing up and showing off in a mighty way.

Every day, you and I are bombarded with negative reports of all kinds. When we are, we have two choices - we can automatically accept the negative report, or we can ask the Lord to intervene in a mighty way. I believe that one reason why we don't pray for the "impossible" more often is that we don't really believe in the power of our prayers. But let's look at some verses in the book of James that give us the proper perspective in these matters. James 5:16 (NLT) says: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." When we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are made righteous in God's sight. On that basis, our prayers have "great power," even though, as this verse makes it clear, we will still sometimes sin. The following verses tell us, "Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops." (James 5:17-18 NLT) Here, James is trying to make us realize that our prayers have the same power and potential that the prophet Elijah's had. What would happen to our prayer life if we really believed the truths behind these verses, and applied them to people's lives and circumstances?

Jesus said, "All things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23 NASB) I challenge you today to begin praying for the "impossible" for yourself and others, so that God may reveal Himself in ways that will touch and change lives for all eternity!

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for failing to pray for Your mighty intervention when it was Your will to do the "impossible". Give me a clear understanding of the power of my prayers because of my faith in Christ. Make me sensitive to the needs of others, so that I know how to pray for them. Thank You that as I love and seek You with all my heart, You will reveal Yourself to the world through me!

- J. M. Farro


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