Captain Edward Smith hurried along the deck to the RMS Titanic’s bridge. His face revealed the anguish he felt on that cold night in 1912.
“Captain, Captain,” shouted a passenger rushing toward him.
“Yes,” said the Captain.
“How does it look?”
“It’s time for us to pray.”
“Oh Lord!” proclaimed the passenger. “Has it come down to that?”
This is a fictional adaptation of a stressful moment in history, but I think it reflects how most of us regard prayer: a last resort option when every other alternative has been crossed off our lists.
Let’s say, the average Christian goes to his physician for a checkup. The doctor runs a few tests and discovers the believer has an inoperable, rapid-growing cancer. “Sorry, you have less than three months to live. You had better get your affairs in order,” he says.
Even though Jesus still answers prayers. Even though Jesus is still the Living Word. Even though Jesus is still the Healer. The odds are about 99 to 1 the believer will soon die.
The average believer will develop everything in his journey with the Lord, except prayer. He will know all the words to the latest Hillsong worship song. He will read all of the top Christian books. He will post the catchiest sayings on Facebook. He will attend a good church where he faithfully gives offerings. He will support his pastor and sit in the amen corner. He will add his name to prayer chains and will be prayed for by anyone who might have a gift of healing.
Yet, the odds will still be 99 to 1 that he will soon die.
To pray effectively, we must move prayer to the top of our daily lists and not use it as a last resort when all else fails.
(P.S Just so everyone knows: I am not against doctors or medical aid.)
(Continued in Part 3)