I was fascinated to read in a May 2008 National Day of Prayer message to Congress, Ravi Zacharias quoted a 5th century writer on prayer. I love words and was thunderstruck to realize the sophistication of the words and thoughts of John Chrysostom as he wrote of prayer in the 400s A.D.
The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it hath bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, subdued evil instincts, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-sufficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by the clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, and the mother of a thousand blessings.
I had a mother who prayed. And, a grandmother and grandfather, and I have living aunts who pray for me each day. I can attest to the potency of prayer; the sufficiency; the blessings. I am convinced that my life would be much less without the prayers of those who love me--however imperfectly.
Why not pray? Is it the fear or the conviction that no one is listening? Zacharias also quotes from C.S. Lewis's Letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Prayer and a poem from an unknown author.
They tell me, Lord, that when I pray,
Only one voice is heard;
That I’m dreaming,
You’re not there,
This whole thing is absurd.
Maybe they’re right, Lord,
Maybe there’s only one voice that’s heard.
But if there’s only one voice that’s heard,
Lord, it’s not mine, it’s your voice.
I’m not dreaming; you are the dreamer.
And I am your dream.