I hate to admit it, but I sometimes go through waves when it comes to prayer. I wish I could say I am 100% prayer warrior all the time, but if I’m honest, I have to say I go through seasons. Sometimes I believe prayer has the power to change the world and the idea of praying unceasingly comes naturally. Then there are other seasons where, though not from a lack of love for the Lord, praying just doesn’t feel all that important. Prayer is always powerful, but sometimes it is easier to let that truth grip my heart and sometimes I have to fight for it.
The past few months have been the latter kind of season. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to pray, it’s just that prayer lost some of its priority in my heart. As I wrestled through different life circumstances, I began to question the true impact or power of prayer.
And then some seemingly small events in the past two weeks reminded me of the significance of prayer. The truth that the Lord hears and delights in responded to our petitions. The fact that He loves to have our hearts aligned with His.
With these recent musing on prayer, I found a post that I wrote my senior year of high school, a time when I believed and saw the tangible reality of prayer. My hope is that by dusting off some of these old truths, they will breathe new life into your hearts. It has for me.
“I have felt the impact of your prayers these past weeks. I am certain now that nothing has had a more powerful influence on this life of mine than your prayers.” Jim Elliot
“Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work.” A.B. Simpson
“Pray for great things, expect great things, work for great things, but above all pray.” R.A. Torrey
“It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions.” John R. Mott
“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.” Samuel Zwemer
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.” Wesley Duewel
“I believe it will only be known on the Last Day how much has been accomplished in missionary work by the prayers of earnest believers at home…I do earnestly covet a volume of prayer for my work — but oh! for a volume of faith too. Will you give this?” James Fraser
I’ll be the first to admit my discipline in prayer is extremely lacking. But praise to be to God who is stirring up my heart, burdening me for His people and places. Will you allow Him to move your heart for the work He is doing around the world?
I love the image that we get to approach the Throne of Grace on the behalf of others. Let the intercession of God’s people pile up before His throne, just as Revelation 8:4 says,
“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”
It amazes me that we are loved by the Creator of the universe, who delights in our asking and seeking. In Scripture, prayer moves the heart of God, but more than that, it changes the heart of the believer. We pray to stand in agreement with God and with His people. That has the power to change everything inside of us.