Three Insights on Prayer

by Grace Fox, reposted from July 28th, 2010 with permission.

Prayer is a divine mystery to me so I love discovering new truths about it. I recently ran across this passage and found it contained several keys to a more effective prayer life.

“When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.” (2 Kings 4:32-35)

Here are a couple of insights that stood out to me:

  • Elisha didn’t wring his hands or panic when faced with a humanly impossible situation. His first response was to seek God. His example challenges me to evaluate my response in crisis. Do I seek Him first, or do I stew and fret and finally turn to Him only when I’ve reached desperation?
  • Elisha prayed alone. This was an intense situation nevertheless he didn’t run to rally his friends for encouragement. It’s fine when we can share our burdens with others, but this story tells me that God is enough when friends aren’t around. He’s the One on whom we can always call and find dependable.
  • After Elisha prayed, he moved into action. Sometimes prayer alone changes a situation; sometimes we need to do our part to make a change. As our relationship with God deepens, we become more aware of when we need to take action and if so, what that action entails.

Can you identify with any of these insights? If so, which one? Why?