Prayer-Works - by Debbie Simmonds
I recall the first time I experienced seeing fireworks in person. I was at a Natal Day celebration at Lake Banook. It was a magnificent sight to behold. I remember the bright colors bursting in the night sky high above our heads. Each one different; some were quick and some long but all spectacular. It sounded like missiles released into the air, combined with the sounds of a giant popcorn popper. I enjoyed watching this display. However, the silence in-between, the waiting, the expectation, stuck out the most. Also, there was a residue left behind, the light cloud of smoke stamped against the black sky. These fireworks left behind a shadow that said, I was here. This sight causes me to consider the prayers that extend to God. I like to call them prayer-works.
As part of the intercessory prayer team at my Church, I know what it is like to send several prayers to the Lord. All different and all-important. Whether it is an individual prayer request or a variety of prayer requests for the community and the world, our prayers go directly to our mediator, Christ Jesus. He sits at the right hand of God the Father (1 Tim.2:5). God the Father hears and answers our prayers said in faith according to His perfect will. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds believers to pray without ceasing; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Yes, God can handle all our prayers said in faith coming His way. The result: answered prayer according to God’s perfect will.
No one can fathom the number of prayers said each day and night to the Lord. There would be too many for humans to count. However, it is reassuring to know that God to able to receive and handle them all. God’s Word tells us to make our petitions known (Phil.4:6). Jesus tells us in scripture to ask anything in His name, and it will be done (John 14:14). The awesomeness of God hears the prayers of billions of his children. No one in all creation can do what our Triune God does.
When I tripped and fell, striking my hand, it was not until later that day when I noticed the diamond in my wedding ring was missing. I prayed to God that I would find it. The next day I went back to where I fell and searched among the dust and soil until I noticed a tiny shiny object. It was the diamond I lost. I immediately thanked God for answering my prayer.
Then there was the time I cried out to God in prayer for my mother, who was on life support, asking God to spare her life so she could fulfill her desire to be baptized. The next day, God, by His mercy, heard and answered my prayer for healing. Later that year, my mother was baptized. Again, I thanked and praised God for a miracle. Whether it was a prayer for a material need or healing or salvation, God heard my prayers.
Prayer-works and fireworks have similarities in the fact that they come in different sizes. Like fireworks, some prayers are short, and some are long. Both scenarios contain sound. Intercessors will often cry out to God. When anyone is grieving or in despair, the Holy Spirit moans and groans when no words are found (Romans 8:26). Also, there is waiting or expectation that occurs after prayer. A glorious breakthrough will follow this expectation in time.
As depicted in the Bible, there are many stories where prayer was heard and answered by God. For example, Hannah asked the Lord for a son (1 Sam. 1:10-27), Jabez asked God to increase his territory (1 Chron:4-9), Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15), and in every instance, God answered. Now not every prayer that we send up to God is responded to in the way we want. But we have blessed assurance that our loving God sees the big picture and knows what is best. I thank God for listening to all our prayers and answering them. The prayer of the righteous person serves as a great benefit (James 5:16). There is a saying, “When prayers or praises go up, blessings come down.” That is a beautiful way of saying that God is constantly working things out, answering prayers, and blessing the believer. What a magnificent array of hope. So, let us keep those prayer-works going because prayer does work.