Change may be only a prayer away

Here’s how to be perfectly miserable: focus on everything negative in your marriage, your church, your job or business and conclude there’s no way of anything changing.

This kind of negative thinking feeds despair; so reject it.

Things and people can be changed by prayer.

Jack Odell was controlled by alcohol and it was ruining his life.

Not anymore.

In his book, “Here’s How!” he says, “It used to take about a quart of whiskey a day to keep me going. Now I don’t need it. I know personally a couple of dozen other people who used to be in the same boat. Many of them were in worse shape than I. Now, and in some cases for many years, they just don’t need it. I know the case histories of literally hundreds of others. They’ve been changed.”

Odell says when he was at the end of his rope God sent a very convincing person across his path who told him she had found a new way of life and freedom through faith in Christ. She said he could change too.

Later that day, after twenty-five prayerless years, Jack pulled his car over to the curb and committed himself to the One who had changed his new friend and discovered faith makes a difference.

When my friend, Dan, entered the hospital he had no idea of the seriousness of his condition. Not long before this, he had undergone heart surgery and survived being hit by a speeding snowmobile but the pain he was enduring now exceeded any he had ever experienced before.

“This madness must stop,” Dan cried out but the pain continued, as did the uncertainty of his survival. Months passed and it appeared he’d not leave the hospital alive. Dan learned later that his doctor had thought the question was not if he would die but when.

Hundreds of people of faith prayed for Dan and against all odds he recovered. Today, he’s busy counseling troubled people, letting them know that in the darkest of times, light can break through because prayer changes things.

A young minister accepted the challenge of becoming the pastor of a tiny, struggling church in a small town. There had been no growth there for many years and common sense might have led to closing the doors and merging with another congregation. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the church was in the pastor’s home town, where it is often most difficult to succeed.

Still this youthful minister believed things could change and prayed expecting a miracle. Within a few years, the congregation wasn’t small anymore; frequently having more than a thousand worshippers in weekly church services.

“If you can believe, all things are possible,” said our Lord (Mark 9:23), removing all limits for those who pray expecting answers.

Let’s not settle for ruts and regrets.

No matter how bleak things seem today…change may be only a prayer away.

Roger Campbell was an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. Contact us at rcministry@ameritech.net

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