Prayer: It is a Royal Gift
January 9, 2011
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Matt. 2: 9-11
9"And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
What does it mean when someone says, "I am praying for you"? What does it mean when a great official of our land says to a family who is in great distress, "The prayers of this nation are with you"? What does it mean to when someone says to you, "Will you pray for me?" Let's take a look this morning at what we mean when we say, “I am praying for you.” Prayer- it's a royal, royal gift.
One of the things that this congregation has taught me is how important prayer is to you. Consistently through the years this congregation has gently but urgently reminded me that prayer is very precious to your hearts. I admire that. I have heard many times, “Pastor, will you pray for me? Will you pray for my friends? Will you pray for my family?” And my answer is always, "Yes, I will".
Do it Right Away!
By the way, if somebody asks that of you, I suggest that you do it right then and there. If circumstances allow, ask them, "Can we have a prayer together right now?" Then bow and if possible, hold the hands of that person and say a prayer for them right then and there. It doesn't have to be a long prayer, just an affirming prayer, a blessing prayer. Go ahead and do it then, as well as praying for them in your times of private prayer.
So what does it mean when someone says "I am praying for you?" First and foremost I believe that prayer is a posture of the heart. Prayer is an intention. Prayer is your intention of blessing this person before Almighty God. So even as you say the words, “I am praying for you", you are doing it. You are saying to this person that there is another human being on this earth who cares, who is on your side. There's another human being on this earth who is cheering you on before Almighty God. There is another human being on this earth saying amen to the need in your hearts. “I am praying for you” is an affirmation.
You Always Have the Power
Here’s some more good news. You can pray no matter what condition of life you are in. One of my great teachers was Ellsworth Kalas, president of Asbury Theological Seminary. Once he told me this story. He said, "I go visit people in the hospital sometimes who are confined to bed. They will say to me, 'Pastor, I can't do anything. I can't do anything for anybody.” In reply Dr. Callas says, “Oh yes, you can. You can pray for them. Your prayer is mighty and strong and powerful.” Whether we are in early years and full of energy or whether we are in a hospital bed, it doesn't matter. Your prayer powers are strong.
The Importance of Heavenly Light
Another thing, "I am praying for you" means is that I am surrounding you with heavenly light. Picture if you will, being in a theater, and on the stage is a single person standing in the darkness. And then at your direction a light comes on. Light shines down from the ceiling and surrounds this person in a cone of beautiful sparkling, remarkable light - a light that brings joy and comfort. A light that brings healing, God’s healing light. Picture that person surrounded by that cone of light.
The Protecting Light
Further, into this cone of light only positive energy can pass, only loving thoughts can pass. Only high-level thoughts can enter. All negative energies and all negative thoughts bounce off the outside of the cone. It is the healing light of God. When you say,” I am praying for you”, one of the things you can do is surround that person with the healing light of God.
Now, you've been hearing me talk more and more about this recently and I'm going to continue to do this because I believe deeply in my heart that this is extremely important to do. Before you go into your day, before you start your work, surround yourself with the healing light. Negative energies can attempt to assault us in many ways at many different times and often at the most inopportune times, but there is something you can do about it. Surround yourself with the healing light of God and you will be protected. The light of God protects you and it protects those for whom you pray. When you pray for someone simply see them and Christ together. Simply see that person seated in a chair and right next to that person see Jesus Christ with his loving, comforting, powerful, healing hand upon their shoulder. See them connected to God. See them as God’s beloved child. See the love of God existing for that person. Affirm that they are surrounded by the love of God.
Send Waves of Blessing
Picture yourself being down at the shore. See the dry sand at the shore and then see waves of the ocean coming and flowing over that sand and covering it over with water. See wave after wave covering over that sand and see the person that you're praying for being like the sand being nourished by the water. See waves of blessing flowing to that person, more and more goodness, more and more health, more and more prosperity.
I was talking to someone who said, “Oh, Pastor I'm trying to pray for so many people with this particular disease." May I invite you to go a step further and pray for the person. Don't think of them as a person with a disease, but pray for the person. There is health in that person, there is life in that person, there is hope in that person, and there is hope for that person. Pray for the person and let God fill in the details. Let the disease fall away. Give the disease no attention at all. Give the health of that person your full and undivided attention. See waves of blessing coming to that person. I believe strongly that in terms of power of prayer you are a powerful energetic center in the universe. I believe that God has given you remarkable prayer power, and that the intention of your heart is extremely strong.
God has given us the ability to channel that prayer power in the directions that we will. God has given us this prayer power to make a positive difference in the world. Use it. Use the power of your creative imagination and prayer to go ahead and send waves of blessing to those for whom you wish to pray.
Blessings Always Boomerang
You will also find the blessings will always boomerang. The waves of blessing you send out will also come back to you and will bless you with health and energy and good spirit. For example, whenever a musician makes music for others, they always get better. As they perform, they practice and reinforce their own skill. In the same way, as you pray, you invoke the blessings of the Universe for yourself. Blessings always return to you. Blessings always boomerang.
You are a powerful source of energy in the universe. Rejoice and be glad because heavenly energies can be directed for the good.
You can give and you can receive the royal gift in this gift of prayer. It is the noblest intentions of the heart and it is God’s gift to us all.
I conclude with this wonderful poem by James Dillett Freeman.
The light of God surrounds you.
The love of God enfolds you.
The power of God protects you.
The presence of God watches over you
and wherever you are, God is.
Where ever you are, God is
and all is well.
God loves you. I do too. I'm praying for you. Have a wonderful week. Amen.
© 2011 Anthony J. Godlefski