I recently heard a pastor share about how he believed some of the things coming together in his life were based on the prayers of his father, now passed. His father had prayed for some specific things, but for the most part, they remained unanswered within his lifetime. But now the son, well into his adult life, is seeing the fruits of his father’s prayers.
“Your prayers never die,” he said. And those words have echoed within me since hearing them.
My prayers go one of two directions most often.
- I tend to give up on my prayers after a month or two. I ask and ask, and when I do not receive I move on to a prayer more attainable (usually meaning something I can accomplish on my own).
- I pray small prayers. Prayers that have a shelf life of 8 hours. Anything seemingly impossible is not worth praying because it likely will never happen. Or so I think.
Scripture teaches us that we have an advocate in Jesus, and he is pleading on our behalf (Romans 8:34). These pleadings do not end, and they do not cease. Jesus continues pleading, advocating for His followers.
At the church we belong to we’ve been looking at the book of Ephesians over the past few months, last week covering the final part of chapter three. Reading Paul’s prayer, the words “immeasurably more” stick out as everything my prayers are not.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).
Big words. A big prayer. Far beyond my typical, “thank you for today” type of prayer. Paul’s prayer has a focus that goes far beyond the circumstances of jail he’s facing. His prayer goes into eternity, seeking to find the joy of then in the now.
When ordinary people, doing ordinary things, pray massively big prayers, God does extraordinary things—immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.