The other night—Saturday— I woke up and, with my eyes still closed, saw a professional photograph of a man in our church that I’d only recently met. Somehow, I got a strong impression that I needed to pray for him. I found out a few days later that the man I prayed for was preparing to start a new job, one he had prayed and waited for for several months. He started his new job on the Monday following my Saturday night prayers. On Wednesday, several people asked him how the new job was going, and said that everything was going well and he loved his new job.
This has happened to me thousands of times. But still I wonder, what difference does it make? (Which is kind of weird, considering that I’ve seen many answers to prayer.)
But what I mean is, if God is sovereign—and I believe He is—then why pray? Won’t He just do what He has planned from before creation?
I’ve read many books on prayer. Many of them provide excellent insights into why we pray and how we should pray.
But the mystery in my mind persists. How do we influence God by our prayers?
Jesus told us to pray. We feel impelled to pray. God answers prayer.
Oh, I know that our sonship calls for us to draw near to God through prayer. And I’ve never experienced anything greater or sweeter than communing with Him in the midst of some of my hardest challenges.
But when it comes to intercessory prayer…
Somehow—and I can’t even picture this—our redeemed relationship with God through Jesus Christ, makes us partners with Christ. How this is even possible makes me tremble.
I think many of us Christians have no idea the privileges God has granted us through Christ, even in this fallen world. That God would even hear our prayers, let alone, call us to pray, is nothing short of amazing.
When God wakes me up in the middle of the night to pray for someone, I begin to realize that my prayers are somehow partnering with the prayers of our Savior!
I have struggled all my life to put aside old and damaging voices that tell me I am not significant. Why should my prayers matter?
My prayers matter because of Jesus. Only because He loves me and desires me to walk alongside Him, praying for the things that advance his heavenly Kingdom.
When we pray alongside Jesus, we glorify Him.
That is as much as I can figure.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV Bible)