Surprised by Prayer



John 14:12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.  13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Do we really believe it, that Jesus will do what we ask in his name so that the Father will be glorified?  I say that I do–and therefore I pray for the sick, I pray for neighbors and friends to come to saving faith, I pray for families to be reconciled, and I keep on praying. But do I really believe that I can ask anything in his name, and that he will do it?

We have a prayer ministry in the congregation that started six years ago with two individuals:  today we counted ten and welcomed one from now a second church joining us.  Over the last six weeks, four congregations have picked up our prayer materials and committed themselves (or one of their ministry groups) to pray for forty days.

It’s not just the momentum of numbers that are exciting–but the content of the answers to our prayers.  A team from out of state has both agreed to partner with us and in fact have a team visiting an unreached people in Asia this month.  That team will come and share their visit with our team later in the year.  A team from our parish will be heading out next month–and the prices of our air tickets dropped by four hundred dollars today.  Our agent is hoping for a further drop tomorrow morning.

There’s even more:  plans are shaping up to produce a new prayer resource by the end of the year building on the momentum from these groups praying and from the two teams visiting Asia.  

Here’s what I see happening:  two sisters in Christ began to pray together seven years ago, and today a movement of prayer has begun which looks ready to grow in the weeks and months to come.  I did not see this appearing on the horizon:  it is God’s pleasant spring rains.  He is doing more than we asked–and by his grace, we trust that our brothers and sisters in Asia are reaping the benefits of the prayers here.

Indeed I pray that the Lord will multiply and expand the family there, one by one, ten by ten, hundred by hundred.  Lord Jesus, we are asking this in your name, trusting and confident that you will do all that we ask according to your name for your Father’s glory.


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