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Prayer Changes Things
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For my birthday, a friend gave me a refrigerator magnet that says Prayer Changes Things. The gift is special because this friend and I are serious prayer partners. We pray for each other’s children every day and for other requests for God’s power. And as we pray, we encourage each other with this phrase: “Prayer Changes Things.

So, having that magnet on my frig is a reminder of the faithfulness of this prayer partner and also an encouragement that God is listening and is at work. But the magnet has another purpose as well. It is holding up a drawing from Shelby, a seven-year-old girl in our church’s Sonshine Club. She gave me the drawing just before our Christmas program.

In the program, Shelby was an angel. But in our club meetings, she fell a bit short of that—quite a bit. She was loud, obnoxious, didn’t listen to instruction, and was distracting on the trips home in the car. The other children were beginning to resent her for taking away from time they could be making a craft or learning a lesson.

My co-director and I discussed the problem and felt that we had tried everything we could think of as well as everything we’d been advised by others to do. Yet Shelby continued the same behavior. I had decided that we would just have to tell Shelby’s mother that we couldn’t keep her daughter in the club if she didn’t become more cooperative. That was the plan. Still, we hated to do it. I mean, the Sonshine Club was an outreach to children who needed to know Jesus. Shelby certainly fell into that category! So how could we kick her out?

Special Prayer Meeting

My co-director and I held a special prayer meeting with just the two of us before the club meeting started that day.  We pleaded with the Holy Spirit to work a miracle in Shelby and to calm her and bring her into control so that she and the other children could benefit from what was being shared.

Well, I already mentioned that I have Shelby’s picture on my frig, secured by the magnet that says Prayer Changes Things. Prayer truly did change Shelby. She seemed to suddenly become not only manageable, but a role model! She started raising her hand to speak! Her voice was calmer and she brought her two younger sisters to club meeting, who she took responsibility for throughout our time together. Her questions were thoughtful and her replies were insightful! It has been months since that transformation, and Shelby is still a prize pupil.

What if we had given up on Shelby? What if we had gone on claiming that we had tried everything without realizing that we hadn’t tried the one thing that would work! Prayer does change things. Let’s not underestimate prayer's power to transform us all.

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).

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By Gwenn Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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