[forthright] Friends in High Places

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2006 16:24:09 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Reality Check

Friends in High Places
by Stan Mitchell

Often we hear that "prayer changes things." I have
only one question. It deals not with what prayer
changes, but whom.

Perhaps we are under the illusion that it is the
role of prayer to change God's mind. The
astounding thing is that there are indeed times
when frail flesh can change the intention of
eternal Deity! Moses averted God's anger against
Israel (Exodus 32:11-14); Hezekiah bought extra
time (Isaiah 38:1-8). These incidents remind us
that "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful
and effective" (James 5:16). Talk about friends in
high places, the child of God can go to the most
powerful figure in existence, and be heard!

But the marvel of prayer lies not in our ability
to change God, but in his ability to change us.
When we pray, we admit that we need his help; we
express humility and dependence with regard to the
course of our lives; we throw ourselves on his
mercy; we seek his wisdom, his strength, his love.


When we pray, the universe is reoriented. Our
universe!

Prayer isn't about changing God's mind; it's about
changing ours! "God," someone has said, "never
alters the robe of righteousness to fit a man; he
changes the man to fit the robe." God seeks to
mold us, change us, make us something wonderfully
better. And the process begins when our posture
changes from standing to kneeling.

"O house of Israel, can I not do to you as this
potter does?" declares the Lord. "Like clay in the
hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house
of Israel" (Jeremiah 18:6).

Prayer won't change things until we allow it to
change us.

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