The blood pooling on my knuckles helped me forget the knife-like pain stabbing behind both ear drums. Sinus tumors had created so much pressure that they were ready to rupture. All the pain and rage and desperation found their way to my ten-year-old fist as it punched a hole through our fiberglass shower.
After the immediate fear of “Oh shoot, what’s dad gonna say?” wore off, another thought hit as I shook off my hand…
You are way stronger than you realize.
That exact thought rolled back the other day as I was reading Paul’s letter to the Philippian church. From jail, he said
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:19
He banked his future on two things:
The help of the Holy Spirit
The prayers of Godly people
The little conjunction “and” changed the way I prayed. If you’re in Christ, it should change how you pray for others as well. You’re way stronger than you realize.
Remember that lady in Acts 12 who yelled, “AGH! It’s Peter!” then didn’t open the door for him because everyone else in the house was like, “Uh-Uh, that’s a GHOST!“? I’m glad they left that part in there. What makes it better is the fact that they were all praying for Peter’s release from prison, and God miraculously answered them.
But, like the ghost lady, a lot of times we don’t believe our prayers matter either. They do though. They matter a lot.
God, in His sovereignty, has chosen to limit His activity to the prayers of His people.
– Vance Pitman
Paul, on the other hand, would pray and position himself to see God move. He knew prayer changed things. In prison, he wrote this in a letter to Philemon:
At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
He wasn’t asking this family to mumble through some little ritual at dinner. He told them to renovate their house in faith that God would move through prayer.
What are you asking God to do that only He can take credit for?
Don’t be like the ghost people. Be like Paul. Pray because it matters.