My son Daniel recently took the whole family out to dinner. Proud of his new job, working at the local Brazilian Steakhouse, he wanted everyone to taste the food he takes home each night. During the evening, several co-workers complimented my son of his strong work ethic and dependability. Surprised by all this flattery, I thought to myself, “what have I done?” Drawing a blank, I couldn’t point to anything in particular. The only thing that came to mind was my daily prayers for each member of my family. Perhaps, this simple discipline is paying off, transforming individuals through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” Matthew 5:4.
One of the hardest parts of praying is the uncertainty of answers to prayer. God answers with one of three responses, yes, no and not now. While some things are obvious like praying for a job or getting into the school of your choice, most topics for prayer take weeks, months or years to get a clear reply. Although, I have gone through periods of doubt, wondering if I was merely wasting my time, a verse from the book of Acts has given me hope. According to Luke, a well known first century physician, God has the ability to commemorate acts of faith.
Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God, Acts 10:4.
Cornelius was a God fearing centurion who led the Italian Regiment. Cornelius wasn’t a do what I say, not what I do kind of guy. Rather, Cornelius practiced his faith, emulating a godly leader at home and on the battle field. Based upon the angelic encounter above, God has the ability to bless, honor and memorialize prayer warriors. Therefore, if you feel like your current prayer life is void of results, don’t lose heart. Rather, press on with another reason to pray so that God will respond soon to your heart felt plea for action.
by Jay Mankus