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  • Shawn Thornton

Prayer Changes Things

Wednesday - January 26th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:15-23


I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Ephesians 1:18-19

During World War II, American troops and their allies desperately needed clear weather to advance during the Battle of the Bulge. While serving as a chaplain, James O'Neill, an American Catholic priest, composed the now-famous "Weather Prayer" at the request of the Third Army's commander, General George S. Patton. Patton distributed the prayer to his troops and gave orders to them to pray it.

The weather cleared. The Americans secured the victory. Patton awarded O'Neill the Bronze Star for the chaplain's part in winning the battle that day. The Bronze Star is a U.S. Armed Forces decoration awarded to members of our armed forces "for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious and heroic service in a combat zone." Patton felt the “Weather Prayer” written by O’Neill rose to the level of meritorious and heroic service in a combat zone!

Stories circulated for decades after the end of the war as to the strong, life-long faith that weather prayer cultivated in the lives of the soldiers present that day. Prayer changes things! General Patton sure believed it made a difference in the outcome of the Battle of the Bulge.

The Apostle Paul not only believed prayer could intervene in the events of our world, but he also believed prayer acts as a critical part in transforming lives. He invested much of his time in ministry, praying for fellow followers of Christ. In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul prays pointedly and passionately for the spiritual vibrancy and well-being of the believers in the Church at Ephesus. "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you." (Ephesians 1:18).

While it is certainly more than appropriate to pray for the physical needs of sick people, prayer impacts much more than a person's need for physical healing. Unfortunately, it is easy for our prayer life to get stuck praying for people who are ill, traveling, or facing financial challenges and neglect the spiritual needs of others. How long has it been since you have prayed for the spiritual eyes of a brother or sister in Christ to be open to who they are in Him? Have you ever prayed that others would flourish spiritually?

Today, pray Ephesians 1:17-19 on behalf of three or four other followers of Christ. Ask God to transform them as they walk with Him!

Prayer changes things! It even impacts the spiritual growth and transformation of other believers!


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