13 Jan We’ve Got the Power – The Power of Prayer
I used to work as a teacher in a public school. I loved my job with everything in me. I loved the students. I loved the subject I taught (Spanish). And I loved the opportunity to be a constant smile or a daily hug for a group of high school kids who, the majority of which, didn’t have much in their life that was constantly positive.
While my job was incredible, there are always parts of jobs that you’d want to change or see differently – for me, it was my department. From my first day on the job until I left at the end of the year 4 years later, a couple of the other teachers in my department had decided that they didn’t like me very much and they often went out of their way to show it. I have to admit – I was certainly upset that I was immediately pushed aside by the colleagues I originally hoped to learn from, but I was also certain that God’s plan was for me to be at that school… with those kids… and those, exact colleagues. While it was a surprise to me to be disregarded, it was no surprise to God. And while my colleagues questioned my abilities and discredited my value, God did not. If He had ordained my steps in getting there, my place was certainly purposeful.
In the workplace, there’s only so much you can do to defend yourself. I wanted to focus on my students and what was happening inside my classroom instead of putting my energy into proving them wrong. While I must admit, I practiced snarky remarks in the mirror while putting my morning makeup on plenty of times, I never really allowed myself the opportunity to use them (thankfully). I often wondered and prayed “How can I defend myself while still living above reproach?”
One day, I came across this quote. From the moment I read it, I was encouraged:
“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” – J. Sidlow Baxter
This quote stuck to me like glue because it is so true. My colleagues rejected my opinions, opposed my ideas, and they certainly despised my person before even giving me a chance… but there was one thing I could do that they couldn’t resist – I could pray for them. I’m a daughter of the King – with a direct line to Him… I could pray for these women and they’d never even know it. As backwards as it sounded, it felt like sweet revenge – If I prayed that God would soften their hearts towards me or if I prayed that their lives would be so wonderful that it would force their personalities to be happier, it would certainly make my days at work better.
While everything in my heart wanted to NOT pray good things over them (I’m admitting a lot of ugly today), I decided to act in deliberate disobedience of my flesh and to go for it.
Our prayers are powerful, y’all. God says that He hears each and every one of them and that not one prayer falls on deaf ears. When we turn our hearts to Him in prayer, He listens and He knows – it’s never in vain! The Bible says that our prayers are powerful and effective.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16
“Pray for each other so that you may be healed…”
So, here’s the part where I tell you that one day, both of those women had a miraculous change of heart, right? I hate to tell you this, but those two colleagues of mine didn’t get any better. They worked harder and harder to make my job more uncomfortable for me up until the last day of school until my life circumstances changed, allowing me to work from home. What I can tell you is this – there was certainly healing that happened when I began praying for them. I was healed slowly of my need for their approval. I was healed of my need to stick up for myself in a way similar to how they were treating me. I was healed of the self doubt that crept in when I realized they doubted me. I eventually felt total and complete freedom and joy in the midst of conflict in the workplace. And I hadn’t even realized that I needed healing in the first place.
I prayed for them and I was healed.
Today, I ask you – Is there someone in your life that would be hard to pray good things for? What would happen in your heart if you decided to pray for them consistently? Your prayers are powerful and effective! Use that power!