"Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
I read this saying from Isaiah 25 in 1 Corinthians 15 this morning. Paul is trying to explain the "resurrection of the body", if you haven't read this chapter, do, because he really fumbles around trying to explain this idea. It's actually kind of funny because Paul can be so clear and succinct, even elegant is his writing, and then a paragraph later totally muck it up.
Anyhow, my friend Kae (pastor at The Mercy Seat) likes to say "I just really believe that Jesus can raise the dead." I think this is the basis for my conversion to Christ, which was not an event, but is a daily process. Everyday I am reminded that the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not (can not, shall not, will not) overcome it. This morning I wept while praying, thinking of a part of me that feels dead. In this prayer I just kept saying, "I know you can raise me from the dead, I know you can raise me from the dead." I always feel weird asking God for something specific, I can't give God the command to raise me from the dead, but I feel that to admit that God has the power to do so is a moment of conversion from pointing to self to pointing to God. I believe that it is in these moments that prayer is completed, not because I say the magic works and POOF! my little Genie-God grants my wish, but that I am drawn closer to God and am more deeply aware of God's power and presence in my life. That, to me, is answered prayer.