Harv watched his work-out friend, Lenny, arrive at the gym at his usual time. But instead of finding a parking place in the gym parking lot, Lenny had driven his dusty pick-up truck up the road next to the building, looped a figure eight in the grocery parking lot next store, and finally came to a stop at the top of a hillside. He parked, aiming the vehicle down toward the road. It was at the business next door, not at the gym.
When Lenny joined him in morning exercise, Harv greeted him and asked, “Now why did you park over there? You can see there are parking spaces right in front of the gym.”
Lenny responded, “Can’t. The truck will only go forward, can’t back up. Needs transmission work. So everywhere I go, all I can do now is to drive straight ahead.”
Lenny’s truck had been his friend and dependable extra wheels for 18 years. Now it was getting older. It couldn’t do everything it had done before. All it could do is to go forward. It would never be the same again. But the vehicle was still useful.
Thinking on your own limitations, have you ever thought, “All I can do is pray”?
Sometimes when we learn of hardships and challenges that others face, we may feel unable to do much due to limits on time, energy, finances, distance, family responsibilities, or physical limitations. What can we do to comfort them? We may sigh and decide, “I can only pray.”
And it seems like a weak action, lame.
But truly, as a channel and communication tapping into the power of God, it’s decisive, strong, and life-changing.
Many were watching at Lazarus’ tomb when Jesus asked them to take away the stone. Jesus, the Son of God prayed, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here that they may believe that you sent me.” [John 11:41] He modeled for us his connection and communication with God the Father with prayer.
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” [Luke 5:16] This comment had followed his preaching and healing large crowds. Prayer gave him power to recharge and refocus, to keep on keepin’ on.
In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” [Luke 22:42-43] Even in the last days of his earthly life, Jesus showed prayer clearly as communication directly with God, bringing comfort and clear answers.
Just as Lenny mourned, “All I can do is go forward,” we may say, “All I can do is pray.” God’s power can move in astonishing ways no one can. It’s more, not less. Prayer moves mountains. It changes us. It brings insight and spiritual growth. Prayer shows the compassion and power of God.
But the difference between Lenny’s power and God’s is in tapping into the power better than any new or used transmission. “All I can do is pray” is a powerful action. Don’t belittle yourself when you think it’s the only thing you can do. Prayer is just the right thing to do.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]