The eternal difference your prayers make

“So, you were the one praying for me!  Thank you!”

In Heaven, two things will happen, I predict–

–1.  People will be coming up thanking you for praying for them.  You barely remember calling out their names to the Father, but He heard and used your prayer and they are living forever because you were faithful.  Sure makes you want to be faithful, doesn’t it?  (See Luke 18:8)

–2. People will be coming up telling you they had prayed for you. And that will answer a question that had bugged you for years:  Was it someone’s prayers that caused those wonderful things to happen in your life?  And now you know. Sure makes you want to be grateful, doesn’t it?

This was brought home to me by a testimony in Christianity Today for July/August 2014.  (I wrote about it then and still treasure it.)

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Waiting is work. Hard work.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  –Isaiah 40:31

I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry.  –Psalm 40:1

Wait on the Lord.  Be strong. Let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait upon the Lord.  — Psalm 27:14

Everybody’s waiting for something. We wait at red lights, wait on the phone, wait for the bus. Mama’s waiting for the family to come to supper.  Dad’s waiting for sis to get out of the bathroom.  Junior is waiting until he’s sixteen and can drive; Sis is waiting for that cute boy to look her way.  The teacher is waiting for the students to settle down; the students are waiting for her to grade their papers.

On and on it goes.  Everyone is waiting for something.

In 1951, Hank Williams wrote a cute little thing he called Just Waiting.   It wasn’t a song exactly, but a recitation he recorded under the name Luke the Drifter.  Part of the lyrics…

The old maid is waiting for leap year to come.  The crooner is just waiting  to sing.  The old cow is standing by the Bull Durham sign, just waiting for the grass to turn green.  The barn flies are just waiting for an easy mark.  The hitchhiker’s just waiting for a ride.  The life termer’s waiting for a prison break. The beachcomber’s waiting for the tide. 

The groom’s just waiting for the June bride, and the bride’s just waiting for June. The sunflower’s waiting for the sun to shine.  Violet’s just waiting for the dew.  The bee’s just waiting for the honey. And honey, I’m just waiting for you.  

Doctors and dentists have waiting rooms.  Hospitals post waiting times.  Restaurants employ waiters.

Waiting is a big deal.

Scripture is filled with waiting.

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Wait on the Lord: What it means, Why it’s so hard

We have three primary texts (and a dozen secondary ones)–

“Wait on the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait on the Lord.”  –Psalm 27:14  This is a command.  Waiting on the Lord takes real strength. 

“I waited patiently on the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry.  He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a solid rock and established my footsteps.  He also put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”  –Psalm 40:1-3  This is a testimony. Waiting on the Lord is the gateway to so many blessings.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint.”  –Isaiah 40;31.  This is a promise. Waiting on the Lord–in time–makes us stronger and more confident.

Question: What would it take for you to quit believing in God? What would it take to make you quit going to church, stop reading your Bible, and no longer consider yourself a Christian?

–A fellow left a note on my website saying “I’m no longer going to church or believing in God.  The last two pastors I have had were terrible and treated me awful.”  I read that and thought, “That’s all it took to knock you out?  Just two bad preachers?  I can show you twenty-five monsters in the pulpit, and you quit after only two?”

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Waiting: The hardest work any of us will ever do

“Wait on the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Yes, wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

Saturday, a pastor texted to ask for prayer.  He has been without a church for a year now and has exhausted all his savings.  The opportunities to preach have been few and far between, and he has been unsuccessful in finding secular work.

My heart goes out to him and I’m praying diligently for him.

Sunday, a friend asked for prayer for her pastor husband. He’s discouraged and would like the Lord to open up some new place of service.

Most of us have been there at one time or other.

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