The Heart of Prayer
I saw the movie War Room last night. It was a moving film about the power of prayer. Prayer has the power to transform lives and to impact people. I've seen it played out in my own life and others' lives as well. But not only does prayer affect others, it also directly affects our relationship with God.
On a recent trip to Haiti, during a question and answer time, I asked one of the Haitian pastors what made him feel close to God; what does he do to feel God near. His answer was simple - he said he prayed. He prayed often. His church prayed often. In the morning, at night, during the week. Prayer was a staple of this man's life and prayer was one of the defining factors of his relationship with God. It's how he felt close to God.
Praying for others brings us close to God because God cares about the people we are praying for. When we pray for the poor, we are close to God's heart because his heart is close to the poor. We're connected to God, because we're sharing His heart.
The same happens when we pray for the drug addict or the abused. We are carrying God's cause; sharing in His burden. When we pray for a failing marriage or broken family relationship, we share in His heart because His heart breaks for the broken.
I recall one morning I rose early to pray. That was my intent; it was going to be a day of prayer. As soon as I got on my knees, God's voice spoke clearly to me, almost as if He was sitting right there with me. "My heart breaks for the children of Herzegovina." It was as if a close friend had just shared a deep part of his heart; of something that touched him and was consuming him. That morning I had the honor of knowing what concerned and touched God.
I don't think I've ever felt closer to him than I did on that day.
God has feelings. He feels for people, and when we pray, we share in those feelings; we share in His feelings. Prayer not only impacts those we pray for, it impacts us as well, for when we pray, we connect with Him in a unique and special way.