When disasters strike, the human spirit responds by reaching out to help those affected. People stand in line to give blood; millions of dollars are donated to aid victims and their families; rescue teams work for endless hours. But most essential effort is accomplished by another valiant team. Their task? To guard and restrain the world with prayer. Those who pray keep alive the watch fires of faith. For the most part, we do not know all of their names. Such is the case of one who prayed on a day long ago.
His name is not important. His looks are beside the point, his gender of no concern, his title is unrelated, but he is important not because of who he was, but because of what he did.
He went to Jesus on behalf of a friend. His friend was sick, and Jesus could help, and someone needed to go to Jesus, so someone went. Others cared for the sick man in other ways. Some brought food; others provided treatment; still others comforted the family. Each role was crucial. Each person was helpful, but no one was more vital than the one who went to Jesus.
John writes, “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick (John 11:3).” Someone carried the request; someone walked the trail; someone went to Jesus on behalf of Lazarus. And because someone went, Jesus responded.
In heaven, the prayer of saints is precious. John the apostle knew that the healing began when the request was made. The man told Jesus, “The one you love is sick, not the one who loves you.” The power of the prayer from that man depended on the one who heard it.
We, too, can go to God in prayer and say, “The one you love is tired, sick, sad, hungry, lonely, fearful, depressed, etc…” The words of the Christians prayer will receive a response. God hears the prayers. He does not miss a word. When Jesus heard the request, he said, “…This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby (John 11:4).” Jesus took note of the man’s words, and he was heard of God.
We live in a loud world. To get someone’s attention is not easy. One must be willing to set everything aside in order to listen. We must consider it a privilege when someone is willing to silence everything else so he can hear us clearly.
John’s message is critical. We can talk to God because He listens. Our voice matters in heaven and God takes us seriously. There is no need to fear that the Christian will be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble, even if what you have to say impresses no body, it impresses God, and he hears you. God listens to the painful plea of the elderly Christians in the rest home. He listens to the confession of the one who has fallen. He hears the alcoholic that obeys the Gospel and begs for mercy, the spouse who seeks guidance, the businessman who steps off the street into the congregation of the Lord’s church to worship, and He listens.
A Christian’s prayer does not stop until it reaches the very throne of God. You are the someone of God’s kingdom. One may not understand the mystery of prayer, but a Christian knows that by being in Christ, he has access to all spiritual blessings, and that is the mystery of prayer revealed. When one obeys the Gospel then actions begin in heaven when someone prays. What an amazing thought! When you speak, God hears; when God hears, the world is changed, and the world changes all because in the storm, Christians pray.
Nettleton church of Christ