Power of a Prayer

            A few weeks ago, my pastor gave a sermon on the second sentence of James 5:16. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” One of the most convicting things my pastor said that Sunday morning was this: “If we believed deep down that prayer would do something, our prayer lives wouldn’t look the way that they do.” Prior to this message, I was so discouraged by the number of unanswered prayers in my life. That discouragement lead to frustration towards God and a lack of confidence in the true power of prayer.

            Fast forward to the spring break trip to Dominica. The entire trip was one giant unknown – we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do, how we were going to do it, where we were staying, what our daily schedule would look like, etc. All of these unknowns forced me to reflect back on that sermon. If we were going to launch a Cru movement on their campus successfully, we needed God to move in powerful ways and we needed to look to His guidance in each step that we took. And in order to do that we needed to PRAY! If you ask anyone who went to Dominica, they can tell you story after story of the ways that God answered our prayers. I want to share one story in particular…

            Similar to how we do things here at UConn, Dominica State College (DSC) requires a faculty advisor to start any kind of organization on campus. We had heard of a Christian professor at a college called Clifton Dupigny College, but we had no connections to any professor at DSC. During our morning prayer on our second day there, I prayed that the Lord would bring forth a Christian faculty member who could be an advisor for Cru at DSC. That day, a few of us went to a church to speak with the pastor and his wife about what we were doing in Dominica. Our goal was simply to build connections with local churches as a place to refer Cru students to. We ended up talking about how we needed to find a Christian professor at DSC and immediately, the pastor’s wife wrote down the contact information for a member of their church who is a professor! We were so grateful that the Lord had answered our prayers so clearly and we shared that we only had the name of a Christian professor who taught at Clifton Dupigny College. To our amazement at how God does more than we could ever ask or imagine, the pastor’s wife told us that Clifton Dupigny College was in fact the old name of Dominica State College. Within a few hours of praying that prayer, the Lord had provided TWO Christian professors!

            I’m sure you’re not necessarily looking for a Christian professor in a foreign country, but I know there are things that you’re asking God to do in your life right now. I know, just like me, you might be disheartened by unanswered prayers. This trip was a true testament to me that God is indeed at work, that the prayers of a righteous person (Romans 5:17 says that’s you and that’s me) are powerful and that they are effective.

- Courtney Lopiano