Saturday, 27 August 2011

Does Prayer Really Work?

By God's grace my exam results were in and He did not let me down. Although I was expecting more and was even upset with Him slightly to begin with, He taught to trust Him and His ways - He knows what is best for me. As I reflected on the 2 years of my GCSEs, I could see God's miracle working, grace filled hand continuously working - even the grades that He gave me now, were ones I totally did not deserve!
Before every exam and during an examination, I have a conversation with God - I pray! Many have asked if it really helps or if its all just to soothe myself, but, let me tell you, it really does work - prayer on its own has no power, it works because we are talking or crying out to the one, true, living God. He not only hears but listens, He not only listens but He answers. We've got to have faith in Him, trust Him, submit our situations into His hands, expect Him to work without having preconceptions on how He'll work and above all, never doubt Him! Isn't this what Jesus said:

'You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it' 
'Ask and it shall be given to you' 
'If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you'

Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to never give up on praying. Here are two major events that blew my mind and that I pray God uses to strengthen your prayer life and relationship with Him...

In January 2010, I took my first Chemistry GCSE exam which was 45minutes long. I was seated at the end of the, then cold, exam hall. As I peered to the board at the front to see how long I had, I by mistake, read the time for a different set - I checked the clock and assumed I had 20minutes left instead of 5! I rushed onto the last question of the exam - this question was worth a lot of marks - I took a couple of minutes to read and understand the question, and when my pen touched the paper, the invigilator screamed, "TIME'S UP! PENS DOWN!' I was shocked and terrified, I checked the board and the clock again and realized my blunder - I had NO TIME to even write a sentence answering the last question. I closed the paper and said a prayer which I believed with all my heart, asking God to miraculously write an answer in for that question. Days passed, but I trusted Him, when I got my results, to many's surprise I scored full marks - although they award full marks even if you had made a few mistakes - it was a miracle, I knew I had made many blunders throughout the exam paper and there was no way I would've got that result by completely missing the final question too. I praise God and may all glory be to Him!

The second instance that blew my mind, was during a Maths entrance-exam for a school. For an Indices Question, I had to find the value of the unknown indices which would work for two different situations(I don't think what I have just writtem makes sense but its very hard to describe a Maths question). I had NO IDEA about how to find these 'unknown values'. While I was on the verge of letting my anxiety get to me, I took a minute and prayed, asking God to show me two numbers on my calculator after I type in, a weird, made-up calculation, I trusted Him! I typed in this calculation and got the numbers 2 and 3. Without doubting, I wrote those answers down as the value for each of the two indices. About 5minutes later, I was tempted to check the given equation with these values to check if I got the answers they had shown - to my surprise and God's glory, they were correct and the equation worked perfectly! My friends couldn't believe it, neither could I, but isn't God famous for working in ways that we cannot imagine? Although some said that it was a 'coincidence', what are the chances of typing a crazy calculation, which had nothing to do with the equation given, and coincidentally getting two numbers that answered the question perfectly, all after praying? I am sure that everyone would agree that the probability of that scenario happening is very very low!

Thus, never underestimate what God can do. He wants to be a part of our lives daily, that is the message I constantly learn from Paul Miller's book, 'A Praying Life'! In all we do, let us seek His guidance, rely on Him, trust Him and above all expect something great from Him - but never have preconceptions on what that 'great thing' is going to be, because God will certainly work in His way and therefore break our preconceptions - if that happens, we miss the sight and awe of His glorious hand working in our lives. What ever you do, always remember to pray - wherever, whenever, whatever, however - Prayer Works!

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