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"Prayer is the answer"

An essay donated by Mark Xandrine Sneed

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I recently read a story in the newspaper about the power of prayer. It struck me. It made me rethink the madness that can be life. It was interesting to find a news article about the power of prayer. The article was simple and clear. It pointed out that no one is really in control. The realization that we are out of control annoys people. I have to admit that it annoys me when people don’t do what I want them to do, especially when it would be so much easier if they did.

The article pointed out that annoying moments happen everyday. I know those annoying moments.
Last week, I was driving home from work hoping to see my wife and have a much needed good night together. I was picturing the way that my wife laughs and how she plays with her newly cut hair, like a schoolgirl, when she is being flirtatious. I was driving home and thinking how great my life was and how great it was to be married.

Just as I was driving along an SUV not paying attention, swung into my lane, without a signal or a head turn, in front of me. I had to jam on the brakes to keep from becoming a part of his SUV side panel. I was annoyed. But when I slipped around the SUV that was knifing across the lanes headed for an exit that he couldn’t make, doing the real-life “Frogger” on I-80, I was really annoyed.

It’s not only other drivers on the interstate that annoy me.

I read the article and realized that I am annoyed too “when I have to wait for a long time at the doctor’s office. I am annoyed when the grocery store runs out of what’s on sale. I am annoyed when my French fries are cold and my milk is warm. And I am really, really annoyed when people tell me I shouldn’t let little things annoy me.”

The article moved me I suppose because the truth of the article is that we are met with long lines, red lights, slow cashiers and drivers who don’t drive to suit us every day of the week.
The thing that the article said that moved me follows:
“What can we do about these things that annoy us?”

“Nothing!”
Does that annoy you as much as it annoys me?

The article said: “Perhaps we can find the solution in 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray continually.” That’s the entire verse. It is part of Paul’s final instructions to the Christians in Thessalonica. Right between always being joyful and always showing gratitude is this command: pray continually.”

So, what I should have done when that SUV cut me off and slowed my trip home was pray for him. It must be difficult to be harried or confused. I’ve heard that the biggest reason for accidents is lack of attention on driving and fiddling with the radio, and I should have been praying for the driver to be focused, praying for his family to benefit from his work and sacrifice, and asking God to keep him safe and healthy. Instead, I pounded the steering wheel while cursing at him for his inability to drive. Remembering the command to pray continually, my behavior annoys me.

The article hit a chord in me. I have to admit that I am re-invigorated. When I am waiting at the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store, I know that I am surrounded by people who need someone to pray for them. My doctor needs wisdom to know how to treat his patients. The people sitting in the waiting room need someone to pray for them and lessen their fears and that their health problems be treated easily. That tired cashier at the grocery store definitely needs someone to pray for them, asking God to send her patience in dealing with complaining customers and unyielding bosses.

I will pray. From now on, when I meet people who annoy me, I will swallow my annoyance and send up prayers on their behalf. Who knows, my prayers might move God’s hand in such a way that it will help those people to live out the story of their faith.

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Posted: 2007-MAR-12
Author: Mark Xandrine Sneed

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