The Amazing Power of Prayer:
Let Blessings Flow
November 15, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning! Our title and our topic for today is “Let Blessings Flow.” Today is sermon three in our series, “The Amazing Power of Prayer.” After I delivered the first sermon, someone in the congregation came up to me and said, “Pastor, I’m glad you’re preaching on this, but I have a request. Could you be so kind as to tell us exactly how to do this? I have friends that I want to pray for, people I want to bless, but I’m not exactly sure the way to go about it. Are we supposed to plead with God? Are we supposed to know what the answer to our prayer should look like? Can you help us out and let us know how exactly we should go about praying for others?”
That’s what I’d like to do today. I’d like to talk with you this morning about a very simple but, I think, effective way of praying for other people. I’d like to model this on what we heard this morning from the Holy Scripture. The disciples came to Jesus when He was at prayer, and they said, “Lord, would you teach us how to pray? John’s disciples asked him, and he taught them a way to pray.”
Jesus said, “Yes, I will. When you pray, pray like this. My Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Now, if we could just modernize the language a little bit, maybe it would sound something like this: O great creator God, Your very name is wonderful. Your very name is awesome. Your very name is splendid power. Let Your kingdom be here on earth. Your kingdom is already being here on earth, just like it is in heaven.
With this formula, I think we can devise a formula of our own. And it’s symbolized in three letters—LBF. Would you be silly with me for a moment, and draw the letters in the air?
L B F
What does it stand for? Let Blessings Flow. That’s the whole thing. That’s the whole prayer formula I want to teach you today. When you pray, address God just as Jesus showed us, and when Jesus said, “Your kingdom is emerging on earth; it’s coming to be just like it is in the perfect place in heaven,” what we should say is “Dear God, let blessings flow for my friends, for my loved ones, or for the people in this situation.”
You see, the beauty is that you don’t have to know the answer; you don’t have to know exactly what kind of blessing is needed. The intention is what counts. So if you pray “let blessings flow,” then God will know to direct the energy and the power of your prayer to that person in the way that is just right. It’s like water. If you give a thirsty person a glass of water, that’s a wonderful thing. But you know, water has a remarkable ability to go into our bodies and go exactly where it’s needed. Perhaps there is a vital organ that needs that water, or perhaps there is another process in the body that needs that water. We don’t have to know that. We just have to give it the water, and the divine wisdom within us will know how to use it.
It’s the same way with prayer. God has given us this unique and wonderful thing called prayer power. So we should simply hold the person we’re praying for gently and lovingly in mind – that’s very important – and address God. Say, “Dear God, let blessings flow to this one or to that one.” God will know exactly what to do.
Remember the picture we talked about a few weeks ago, where we were standing at the flood gates of the canal at Griggstown? There’s a great big wheel that you can turn with the iron spokes. That’s the way it is with prayer. You turn the wheel, and the flood gates open and the wonderful water of blessings flow down. That’s the intention you should have in your heart when you pray for other people. You don’t have to plead with God. You don’t have to arm wrestle. You just have to open up the gates and let the blessings flow.
Let me give you some examples.
“Dear God, let blessings flow to my friend Vin. He’s in the hospital. We’re not exactly sure the best way to treat him, but we love him. We love him, and we want blessings to flow for him. Let blessings flow for Vin.”
“Dear Lord, let blessings flow for my friend Betty. She’s grieving. She misses her loved one. May blessings flow to her.”
“Dear Lord, bless my friend Chuck. He’s very lonely. We don’t know how to help him, but we want to pray for him. Let blessings flow to Chuck. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
You see, that’s all you have to do. Just have the intention of letting the remarkable sparkling blessings of God flow to the persons that you need to bless.
Who should you pray for? I suggest you pray for yourself. Let blessings flow to you, because you need the strength; you need the energy; you need the healing, too. Don’t be afraid to pray for yourself. God has wonderful blessings in store for you. Be open to them. “Dear Lord, let blessings flow”… to you.
Who else should you pray for? Pray for your loved ones, people you care for, people who have asked you for prayer, people whose needs you know, people whose lives you know. Pray for them. Let blessings flow to them.
And may I suggest one more thing? Pray for strangers. Pray for people you don’t know. Maybe you’re dealing with many people whose names you don’t really know, but you want to pray for blessings for them. You can do it. Say, “Lord, let blessings flow to these folks.” Maybe you want to pray for the waitress in the diner who looks so tired. “Oh, Lord, let blessings flow to this lady. She looks so tired. I’ll bless her, too. I’ll leave her an extra good tip. And may she have what she deeply needs. Amen.”
Pray for the grumpy gas station attendant who just filled your car. He seemed so sullen. Don’t get angry. Pray for him. Say, “Lord, I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be covered with gasoline day in and day out, doing nothing but filling gas tanks. It must be a hard job. Lord, let blessings flow to him. Let something remarkable happen in his life. Let blessings flow.
You might pray when you hear a siren, when you hear an ambulance go down the street. “Lord, I don’t know who’s in that ambulance, but their lives may be in upheaval right now. Let blessings flow to them and their families and to the people who care about them. Let blessings flow.” You will be doing a marvelous work; you will be doing God’s work.
And may I say one more thing? Please remember that blessings always boomerang. When you go around praying for people, when you go around opening the floodgates of blessings for people, they tend to come your way, too. Those good vibrations of prayer energy also reflect back on you. Someone once said that you can never give the gift of a fragrant rose without some of the fragrance remaining on your hand. Blessings will come back to you, even as you are praying for others.
And so, my prayer for you this day is that abundant blessings would flow to you and to those whom you love and to all those who are in need of your blessing and prayer. God loves you. I do, too. Have a wonderful week. Amen.
© 2009 Anthony J. Godlefski