It’s been delightful to get back to the “ordinary” routine day-to-day life again. So good to be home. So pleasant to enjoy the little pleasures of family life.
I picked a book off the shelf yesterday morning, “If You Will Ask–Reflections on the Power of Prayer” by Oswald Chambers. The title drew me. If you will ask…Chambers was a man who knew God. The foreword opens with these words,”Oswald Chambers’ closest friends knew him as a person for whom prayer was a natural and joyful aspect of everyday life.” That’s the kind of person I want to be, don’t you?
During WWI Oswald Chambers was in Egypt as a chaplain, where he delivered the opening message of this book to 400 men: “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Quoting from this message, “What suffers (when we don’t pray) is the life of God in him, which is nourished not by food but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer nourishes the life of God.” He states further that, “The purpose of prayer is to reveal the presence of God, equally present at all times and in every condition.”
He was talking to soldiers in war times, many who had known prayer for the first time because they found themselves “at their wits’ end.” He assured them that God answers prayer “every time.” He said, “We are apt to forget this and to say without thinking that God does not always answer prayer. He does every time, and when we are in close communion with Him we realize that we have not been misled. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you.’ We grouse before God and are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things; yet what a splendid audacity a child-like child has! And our Lord says, ‘Unless you…become as little children…’ (Matthew 18:3) Jesus says, ‘Ask…God will give’ (John 11:22). Give Jesus Christ a chance. Give Him elbow room, but no one ever does it until he is at his wits’ end.” He commends us to God to present our problems to Him, whatever we have come to our wits’ end about. When we are self-sufficient and don’t need God, we don’t come to Him–we don’t want to know what He would say, and we don’t want to do what He says.
“It is not so true that ‘prayer changes things’ as that prayer changes us, and then we change things.”