Prayer: An Untapped Power Tool for Successful Living

Let me tell you about my Uncle Fred and one of the ways he influenced my life.  Uncle Fred lived with us when I was very young.

I loved to watch Uncle Fred come through the doorway for any reason. He stood about 6’ 5” and always had to stoop down to get through.   He was a man of few words and had a dry humor that rumbled just below the surface all the time.  His favorite thing to do with me was to pick me up in his strong arms, flip me upside down and let me walk around on the ceiling.  With my vivid imagination, this was magical and made Uncle Fred my hero.

Our parents, uncle and grandmother were in the ministry and prayer was a large part of our daily lives.  When Uncle Fred prayed, he bowed his head kind of to one side, folded his hands behind his back, drooped his shoulders and the first words out of his mouth were always “Great God, Almighty!!”.  When he said that so fervently, I just knew, without a doubt that God was GREAT, and God was ALMIGHTY and probably could do anything Uncle Fred was going to bring up for His review.

Over the years I have naturally continued to believe in the power of serving others through prayer.  People who are religious and people who are not usually have no trouble agreeing with this point of view and have some anecdote they can look back upon where prayer saved the day for them.  Others, when filled with joy, can speak of their gratitude for the blessings they are experiencing.

 Prayer

*Removes barriers between people for a common cause

*Verbalizes and gives focus to a problem

*Creates hope in a source of power to act on a matter out of our control

*Creates a sense of support in the accomplishment of a goal

*Builds relationships

*Provides a vehicle for expressing thankfulness when the prayer is “answered”

Prayer removes barriers by exposing vulnerabilities in a safe, private loving way to the person praying with you.  It lifts them up to an outside, powerful source Who can and desires to help.

By verbalizing and focusing on a problem, we open ourselves up to the possibility of change and unknowingly free ourselves from some of the self -defeating attitudes that keep us from growing and changing.

Discouragement obviously accompanies seemingly insurmountable problems. This is squashed at least a little when someone, a stranger or a friend, comes along side you.  An offer of prayer creates hope that someone more powerful than you can fix things.

Receiving the gift of prayer creates that sense of support in knowing that another human being is agreeing with us. This opens our heart and mind to the possibility of things improving and belief in the desired end result.

Praying together over the need or concern of another is an act of selfless giving.  It is investing in the ultimate success of that other individual.  It is a core value of building a true and lasting relationship…giving with no expectation of personal gain.

My heart can’t imagine how those who believe in nothing but their own personal power know what to do with gratitude.

Prayer provides a perfect vehicle for expressing thankfulness.  When we are in alignment with God and at least one other human being over a situation or need and focused, we are better able to receive the answer.  We actually cooperate in the creation of the answer and will recognize it when it comes.  When it does come to fruition, we cannot but be filled with joy and gratitude.  The best place for this to be expressed is again in prayer, the original source of focus while it was still a problem.

Recently my church pastor exposed us to some refreshing concepts from a book by Gary Tyra called Holy Spirit in Mission. Here is what I took away from those views:

  • Everyone in the world is in need of prayer for something
  • A very small number of those people will cross my path each day
  • Of those I meet, I will sense the need to offer to pray with or for one or more of them
  • Almost no one will refuse and all who say yes will feel encouraged or supported and uplifted in some way

Perhaps you’ve had someone in your life like my Uncle Fred whose prayers were strong and sure and encouraged you to pray the same way.  Or was there someone with a sweet quiet voice, but no less sure that they were heard-who helped you realize a prayer can also be the smallest whisper?

Or, have you had the experience of a stranger praying for you and it was the catalyst to change, growth or success in overcoming an insurmountable problem?

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.

41 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Anne….Thank you for some fresh concepts on an old topic that many of us take for granted….Thank you for reminding me that we are never to busy to stop and pray, especially for the families we are working with who are in such great need of prayer, comfort, and support….Thank you for the times you have shared with me that you are praying for me…I always feel like me and my family are one step away from a Dr. Phil show…..I think you understand what the Apostle Paul said when he encouraged us to pray without ceasing….thanks for the example you are….Mark

    • Anne Collins says:

      I know what you mean about Dr. Phil. Every family has great needs to pray within their own families. I guess it is alway a good reminder. I think the reason it is good to tell someone we are praying for them is to help them become part of the answer God is trying to impart. It opens their heart to the probability that things are going to change and they have support. Thanks for taking time to comment! You are the best!

  2. Joan Petrime says:

    Anne, you have been Tom & myself a great friend. When Tom lost his second battle with cancer, you & Lou were so very compassionate & caring! Oh all the prayers we received!!! I hope the thought of praying for someone else brings them comfort & strength from the Lord. Prayer is a mighty powerful tool whether the outcome is good or bad. My son Tim & I treasure your friendship so very much. May God continue to work through you for that is the biggest compliment! Love, Joan & Tim

    • Anne says:

      There are many ways to serve. Every day I see you doing things for others in your family, in the neighborhood, in your church. Every day we touch someone’s life in a good way, God smiles!

  3. Maria Fernandez says:

    Anne,
    Prayer is the most powerful tool we have as believers and yet at times its the last tool we pick up to use. Thank you so much for the beautiful encouragement. May God continue to use you as you write and share words of edification. Through the years you and I have shared some very special moments and I will always cherish those times. Love and miss you so much my friend!

    Maria Fernandez

    • Anne says:

      Yes Maria, often the last tool. So true. Your own beautiful Elizabeth, living though only 24 ounces!!! to become the vibrant happy child she is now, growing healthier every day is a huge example of the power of prayer. She should have died sooo many times but she is here and a living testimony. Write your book, as only you could!

  4. Wade Perry says:

    Hello Anne,
    What a powerful image Uncle Fred conjures in my mind. I have always taken comfort that my mother Elinor was praying for my safety and well being througout the years. This was especially tested during my time in the Marine Corps when I spent many years in peril. There were times the knowlege of her prayers gave me the courage and fortitude to go on. These days were before I had known Jesus. As my faith has grown and my prayers are directed outward towards the intentions of other as well as inward toward my walk with Christ I have grown fond of the story of St. Monica of Hippo who prayed for 14 years for the conversion of her notorious son Augustine. This story helps me to understand that the time is of His making not my desire and we must persist in our prayers even when it seems to us to be of no avail. I think the power of a mothers prayer for her children is among the most powerful and loving creation of our Lord. Thanks for your witness and the conversation last week.
    God Bless you.

    • Anne Collins says:

      Thank you Wade. Glad you had the time to read this with your busy life and glad you identify with Uncle Fred. From what I know of you, you would have loved to spend hours listening to him. He was that kind of man. You mom, my dear friend and amazing help at work, was truly faithful to pray you safely back home from the Gulf and ever since. May the blessings He loves to give us all cement your business and direction you take for you and your family.

  5. Judy Williams says:

    Such a powerful teaching in so few words! Many have not touched my heart so deeply with thousands of words! Thanks, Anne, and Thanks, LORD for Anne.

    • Anne says:

      Judy, coming from a writer like you, I cannot help but be humbled. Thank you for your friendship and support. You definitely are an inspiration.

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