Yesterday I read most of a little book entitled The Power of Prayer, a compilation of essays on prayer edited by Dale Salwak. Often when reading a book like this, I’ll open it up and read a paragraph or two at random. If that section looks good, then I’ll read some more. If not, I’ll progress to another section. This book, however, was filled with such good stuff that I ended up going to the Table of Contents, checking out the contributors, and then reading the whole thing. Some of the essays are “heavy duty” and require so much pondering and ruminating (love that word) that I’m certain I’ll dip into this book frequently.
The mix of authors is as varied as their “takes” on the subject of prayer. Well-known religious leaders, professors, a Jewish spiritual storyteller, a native American earth wisdom teacher and author, professors, doctors, an actress (remember Dale Evans?), and others are included. Jimmy Carter is there; so is Billy Graham, both of whom have a lot of name recognition. Mother Teresa’s thoughts on prayer are there as well, and I particularly enjoyed reading them since I have such tremendous respect for this tiny little saint who lived and worked among the people of Calcutta. The secret to her life of service and love is simple; “I pray.” Marianne Williamson, one of my favorite female authors is included, and she reminds the reader that “through prayer, we find what we cannot find elsewhere: a peace that is not of this world.”
While I enjoyed reading all of the selections, the one I’ve chosen to share today is from the work of Stella Terrill Mann, author of bestselling Change Your Life Through Prayer. This particular quote caught my eye because of a blogging buddy who’s currently asking the question, “Oh God, what’s next?” I sure hope she reads this post today. And I hope that others who are wondering where to go with their lives or what to do or what’s next will read it too.
“If you have a desire to do a thing, count it as proof positive that you can do it no matter what the obstacles. Desire and fulfillment are two sides of one whole. If it were not possible for you to fulfill the desire, it would not be possible to entertain it either. The desire is God’s silent plea to let Him work through you. It is God’s silent guarantee that He will see you through if you will but begin….The more sorely we are dissatisfied with our situation in life, the more tormented we are by an urge to do a thing, the more certain it is that God is inviting us to take the step.”
Can you see why I chose that quote? Pretty powerful, huh? Mann, like the other writers on prayer, feels that the answers are there if we’d just learn to listen. For more effective listening, silence is needed. Hmmm. That’s a problem for most of us in this busy, hustle and bustle, noisy world, but I’m giving it a shot today because I need answers.