Necessity and Power of Prayer

DSC_0799by Ashley Szura

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6
Wake up, brush teeth, let the dog out, play with the dog, get dressed, eat breakfast, pick up the house, clean up dog’s accident, research insurance options, check Facebook, let the dog out, eat lunch…this is what my morning consisted of today. In the afternoon, I went from a meeting to work at school to the store to another store to a friend’s house to a home. Life is busy. Our society is busy. This is not new information, but it’s so easy to get caught up in. But what I love about Matthew 6:6, is that it tells us to “go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father.” In other words, shut out the busyness of the world, close the door, come face to face with the Father, Creator, and Savior.
After working with Infinity Sports for the past five years, I’ve seen the power of prayer and the work of God’s hands right before my eyes. I’ve seen coaches down on their knees crying out to the Father and watching God answer those prayers in a miraculous way. One specific memory I have of this comes from a camp we did in Louisiana a few years ago. At this particular camp, the majority of the kids did not want to be at camp. They didn’t care about sports or God or others. By the end of the first day, the coaches were defeated IMG_7928physically, emotionally, and physically by the apathetic attitudes of the campers. So that night, we prayed and we prayed and we prayed. We prayed for campers to fall in love with Jesus. We prayed for campers to listen to the coach’s instructions. We prayed for kids to have fun. We prayed all over the church building, sports fields, and in our Bible study rooms that God would completely change the atmosphere and blow a fresh wind through that place. And wow did the Lord answer those prayers. By Tuesday morning, attitudes had completely changed. Campers had started enjoying themselves throughout all aspects of camp. Coaches were able to build relationships with campers, and the campers began to trust coaches. Campers started sharing their hearts about things going on in their life. They were broken, just like the rest of us, and were realizing their need for a Savior, which opened up many opportunities for coaches to share the truth of the Gospel. By the end of the week, a handful of campers gave their lives to Christ. The entire atmosphere of the camp had changed. When we arrived back in DSC_0852Louisiana the next year,  it was clear God continued working in the church’s children’s ministry during the year, and campers had clearly grown spiritually.
I love sharing that story because it shows our Mighty God answering our prayers before our eyes. But as a staff member at camp in the summers, it seems so much easier, more natural, to go to our rooms, close the door, and pray to our Father. In real life, we forget this command to go before our Father, away from all the distractions and worldly noise, and talk and listen to our God. So I challenge myself to get away and pray daily. I challenge you to do the same. Praise God for who He is, pray for hurts in your life and the people around you, trust God with your victories and with your losses. Go to war in your prayer life, not just during camp, but always.