The other day I had a song going through my head; “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. Folks my age might remember it in relationship to the movie Back to the Future, which came out in 1985; during my high school years. I remember how the storyline showed that sometimes decisions we make in our lives can drastically affect our futures.
The power of love is an amazing thing. It can cause normally rational people to do things completely out of the ordinary. It changes people in ways they never expected. As the song says,
“The power of love is a curious thing
Make one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove
More than a feeling, that’s the power of love”
I love the line that says it is more than a feeling; looking at love from the bigger context of Godly love we see that love is indeed more than emotion, it is an action. And no one does it better than God does.
God’s love can literally move mountains. He can accomplish anything with the power of His love. He can even produce a plan that has the ability to save the world from their sins. Now that, sisters, is the Power of Love!
However, some people don’t think that God’s love extends to them. Recently I had the painful experience of talking to some loved ones who are all going through difficult times. As I was trying to encourage them, I asked if they had been praying. The response was something to the extent of, “I prayed about it a lot, but God just didn’t listen.” This broke my heart. I know that God loves these women, but they don’t know how to connect with Him and hear the answers He is giving them. They can’t feel the power of His love.
First, let’s take a quick, Biblical look at prayer. Sometimes our prayers aren’t as effective as they could be. If we are dealing with unrepentant sin in our lives, doubt in our hearts, or selfishness in our requests then our prayers might be refused (Psalm 66:18, James 1:5-7, James 4:3). Pride can interfere with our prayers, Luke 18:11-14, and disobedience or an unmerciful heart could restrict our access to God, Proverbs 28:9 and Luke 18:11-14.
To have an effective prayer life we need to have purity of heart, Psalm 66:18-19. We must believe that He is listening and is able to answer, Matthew 21:22. And, our prayers must be in accordance with God’s will, 1 John 5:14.
Sometimes our prayers are effective and answered, but we simply don’t see the answers. Often when we pray we have tunnel vision; I pray for something specific and if that doesn’t happen I assume God’s answer was no. But we need to widen the scope of our vision and see that God isn’t limited by our imagination. You might be amazed at how God can answer our prayers in ways we never imagined.
We also must realize that our prayers are not being offered up in a vacuum. All around us others are praying also. Have you ever considered that what you are praying for might conflict with what another believer is praying about? It amuses me when folks pray for their favorite sports team to win. Are they assuming there are no Christians praying for the other team?
Our prayers cannot impose our will upon someone else’s free will. I cannot pray for someone to change and assume God will snap His fingers and make it so. That person still has the ability to choose to do the wrong thing. This is especially hard for a young woman I know who is praying fervently for her marriage. She can’t understand why her marriage is still falling apart with all of the praying she’s done. But what she doesn’t understand is that God can’t change her husband. He has to do that himself. All we can do is pray for his heart to be softened, or that someone can influence him in the right direction. Ultimately it’s up to him.
And, like in Back to the Future, the desires we have today may have a major impact upon our future that we cannot, in our human wisdom, foresee. Remember the song that talked about thanking God for unanswered prayers? Sometimes we need to be aware that God is not limited by our mortal vision, and knows how things are going to affect us in the future. If He doesn’t give us what we want then there’s probably a very good reason for it.
God sees it all. He can see the BIG picture, how the answers to our prayers will affect others. He can see how our answers will affect our future. And we know that God is working all things out, ultimately, for our good (Romans 8:28). Maybe not for our happiness, or our comfort, but for the good of our souls.
The simple answer is to trust Him. He may not give you what you’re asking for, but if you are right with Him I guarantee He is answering you. One way to help increase your faith is to look back in your life at times when He answered you in unexpected ways. Or, maybe it would help to talk to an older sister and ask her to share some stories with you. I know I have plenty I would love to share with anyone who would ask.
God may not give us what we want, or what we think is best, but He will always give us what we need. Have faith sisters, trust in Him, and time will ultimately show you that he was with you all the time. That’s the Power of Love.
By Fern Boyle
Fern Boyle is a homeschooling mom of six kids who lives in Enid, Oklahoma. Her husband, Doug, is an elder in the church of Christ at Garriott Road, and a pilot in the military, having served in both the Marine Corps and Air Force. Their time traveling from coast to coast has blessed them with friends in the church all across the country as well as many opportunities to grow as Christians. Fern enjoys running, hiking, reading and teaching ladies Bible class. She used to have other hobbies but then she had more kids. Her children are what she loves most, however, watching them grow and develop into wonderful young men and women.