Loss. Pain. Fear. Uncertainty.
Our world is full to overflowing of inexplicable hurts we seldom want to face. All you have to do is look on the internet or turn on your local news and you’re inundated with images of violence, warfare, riots and civil unrest. Suicide. Depression. Domestic Violence. Bullying. With everything coming at us so fast, this week’s devotional message on the power of prayer couldn’t have come at a more appropriate moment.
In a departure from the usual, our devotion time this week was led by one of our organization’s strongest prayer warriors, Tim’s mother Harriet. Reading to us from an excerpt based on a true story about another praying mother, she shared the following:
There was a woman who prayed for her children three times a day every day until the day she died at the age of 91. At the time of her death, only 6 of her 12 children had come to know the Lord. She died, never knowing if the other six would ever know Him at all. To make a short story shorter, more than 15 years later, the tally had changed: 10 saved and 2 to go. Her oldest son, the 10th to come to Christ, did so after a neighbor felt compelled in a dream to invite him to church. He later said that he could “hear his mother’s voice calling out his name in prayer,” just as he had his entire childhood, and that very day he accept the Lord. He was 92!
~ Paraphrased from the short story: “Eternal Prayers” in Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle ~
Now the author of this piece had done a little bit of math to go with the tale. Since the eldest son was 77 when his mother died, in keeping with her three-times-daily routine, his mother would have prayed for him 84,315 times! Had she been focusing on the things of this world, the brevity of it all… she might have believed that these prayers for her firstborn were in vain but that would have been untrue and that was the point of this story. God’s answers don’t always come in our time. A decade and a half after she left this world, this mother’s prayers were still being answered.
At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering what this story might possibly have to do with pain and suffering. This is a story of celebration. How does it relate? That brings me around to the conviction that was laid on my heart after hearing this story: you see we often forget the power of focused intercessory prayer.
In his book, A Passion For Prayer, author Tom Eliff tells us that, “Intercession, is by nature, where an individual positions themselves between two parties – one with a need and one with the answer – and seeks to bring the two parties together.”
We know God has the answer. So the question for us as believers is: Who in our lives has the need? More importantly, what is God’s will for our prayers regarding that person?
Think about that. What does it mean to you? In my next post, I want to talk about what this means to me. When I really sat down to think it through, the implications are so much bigger than I could ever have imagined.
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