2011-05-08_175306Do you ever wonder if your prayers make a difference?  If when you pray, your prayers ever make it any farther than the sound of your voice, or beyond the ceiling of your room?  I want to assure you today that your prayers matter. That when you pray, your prayers ripple throughout eternity, causing a shift in events and lives–even beyond your own lifetime.

How do I know?  Because God says so in His Word, and because I’ve seen it confirmed with my own eyes.  I was standing on a mountaintop in Virginia yesterday where a man prayed 40 years ago that on that site God would raise up a training ground for Christians who would impact the world.  Today, that site is the location of Liberty University, the largest Christian University in the world, training over 50,000 students a year, both on campus and over the Internet (and by the way, you can take classes there too, at www.liberty.edu).

What struck me most as I stood there on that mountaintop was that this man grew up there on that mountain.  He hunted and fished there as a boy, raised his family there as an adult, and stood where I was standing on the day before he died just a few years ago, talking to his son and a group of students from the school.

Although he travelled the world for the cause of Christ, for the most part, he simply “bloomed where he was planted.”  He didn’t go in search of the perfect mountaintop where he could found the largest Christian University in the world.  He called out to God from where he was, asking God for wisdom for how he could make the most of the life he had been given.

He became a pastor.  He started a church in his home town.  He used whatever technology he could to get God’s message to as many as he possibly could.  Then he started a school to train others to do the same, starting first with young kids, then expanding to a college, then on to a full-fledged university.

My wife and I talked with a woman who was at that first prayer meeting, and who showed us a picture of it, as they gathered near a barn on the hillside to pray for this vision to become a reality.  My wife was overcome with tears and we began to pray right there, too, thanking God for the many prayers of faith and battles in the flesh–including surviving financial threats to the school and death threats on his family–and which resulted in a school that has had such an impact around the world, and even on our own family, as our daughter just finished her second year there.

In his own words, the founder said, “Nothing of eternal significance ever happens apart from prayer.”

Do your prayers make a difference?  You bet they do.  They ripple throughout eternity.  They outlast even your own breath.  And they touch the lives of people you know and people you may never even meet this side of heaven.

The Bible says:  “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b).  You are righteous, in God’s sight, if you’ve put your faith in Christ.  And when you pray, your prayers are powerful and effective.

When you pray, God may call you to the other side of the world.  Or He may call you to stay right where you are and make a difference throughout the world from there.

Either, way, or somewhere in between, trust that God will use your prayers in a powerful and effective way.  Don’t give in to the temptation to think that your prayers aren’t being heard.  Even Daniel the prophet didn’t see the effect of his prayers right away, but God heard them and began to act on them the moment Daniel uttered them.  As the angel Gabriel told Daniel later:

“Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (Daniel 10:12b).

Your prayers matter.  And God wants you to pray them with your whole heart, believing that He will answer them, because He will.  He loves you, and He loves those around you even more than you do!  He wants you to pray and He wants you to see those prayers answered, too.

Keep praying.  Keep believing.  Keep trusting that God loves you, is for you, and will answer the prayers that you ask of Him today.

Let’s pray…

Father, thank You for hearing our prayers and answering them.  Thank you for the stories we’ve heard about answered prayer both in the Bible and from today, and help us to pray in a way that is powerful and effective too.  Hear our prayers again today, and may Your answers to them ripple throughout eternity.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Eric Elder
The Ranch

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