The story is told of a preacher who owned a parrot that only said the words, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” He tried hard to teach it other words. He even bought recordings that were designed to teach parrots to speak many things, but still all he got from this parrot was “Let’s pray, let’s pray.”
One day he happened to be talking to a deacon at church and found out that the deacon also had a parrot that only repeated a couple of words. All his parrot would say is “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” He too had tried to teach it many other words, but all he got was “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.”
As they discussed this peculiarity about their parrots they came up with the idea of putting the two of them in the same cage to see what would happen. So the deacon took his parrot over to the preacher’s house and they put them in a cage together.
After the two birds fluttered about and stared at each other for a while, the deacon’s parrot said, “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” To their amazement the preacher’s parrot then responded, “Thank you, Lord. My prayers have been answered!”
I like this story not only because I got a chuckle out of it, but also because it reminded me that there is power in prayer. Jesus often emphasized the power of prayer in His teachings. One of the most familiar passages for most of us is: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
Of course, that does not mean that God is like the proverbial “genie in a bottle” where our every wish is His command. There are other passages that demonstrate that in order for God to answer as we pray; our prayer must be within the boundaries of His will. A case in point, Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane asking the Heavenly Father to “Let this cup pass from Me” [His impending suffering and death] was subject to the Father’s will (cf. Matthew 26:36-42).
But even if God says “no” to some of our requests, we should continue to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The “No’s” are not to deprive us, but to protect us. The truth is, God longs to bless us by answering our prayers! Jesus also taught, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those that ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).
Yes, there is power in prayer! So, let’s pray!