Believe in the power of prayer

By Jim Graff
May 19, 2017 at 3:12 p.m.

Jim Graff

Jim Graff   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

Before we make a big decision, most of us evaluate the risk and reward of that choice. It's just human nature. Prior to becoming a fully committed Christian, I had my share of doubts. And it wasn't until I saw that the prize was worth it that I was willing to pay the price.

Here's how it happened for me. Just a month before my senior year of high school, I tore my thigh muscles. At the time, I was the co-captain of both my basketball and baseball teams. I had scholarship offers on the table, and I was planning on a college career in baseball.

The University of Pittsburgh trainer and an orthopedic surgeon both told me I'd miss my senior year of athletics. I was devastated. About this time, my brother asked me to attend church with him on a Friday night. I thought he was crazy to give up a Friday night for church. My response was a quick and firm "no." His response was, "Fine. Then, let's just go play basketball with some friends."

Of course, I was down for that, even with hurt legs. After all, I could watch them and coach from the sidelines. It wasn't until we drove right past the gym that I realized he had tricked me. We weren't on our way to the gym; we were on our way to church.

Service began as we pulled in. My honest thought was, This place is different and the people are acting strange. While my brother had his eyes closed, I sneaked out. When I thought the service had ended, I walked back in. The preacher was still talking. Surely it's almost over, I thought as I reluctantly sat in the back. But then I started to realize something. This man talked about Jesus in a way I had never heard. It did something to my heart that day.

When he gave the altar call, I was the first to walk down.

Because my brother had told him about my condition, he asked to pray for my legs, and I let him. When I left that night not only was my heart made new so were my legs.

I even played pain free in an All-star game the very next day.

That was the moment when I realized there was power in prayer. And I knew I wanted to learn more about experiencing God. I decided to learn and obey God's ways.

As I did, things started changing in my life. And people started to notice. Why? Because God's ways work. In fact, it wasn't long before many of my basketball teammates wanted to learn about God too. Those basketball teammates became my new Christian friends.

That's the power of prayerful obedience. It causes us to experience God's goodness firsthand. And it helps others see that goodness reflected in our lives. As Jeremiah 1:12 says, God always watches over His Word to fulfill it. With Him, the prize is always worth the price.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit



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