The arrow was flying fast and straight. It should have hit the mark – dead center, but at the last moment a gust of wind knocked it slightly off course. It missed the bull’s-eye completely; in fact, it didn’t even hit the target at all. The archer bellowed loudly, unable to contain his fury. There was no possible way that he could have missed. He had sized up the target, measured, planned, and studied everything that could possibly go wrong.
What had happened to foil his well-laid plan?
How could he tell his commander that he had failed to hit the mark?
He hadn’t even come close. Shoulders slumped and bent in defeat, he turned to walk away when something caught his attention. His eyes swung back to the target, perhaps he hadn’t missed after all….
The wind had stopped, and a light misty rain had begun. Standing in the middle of the field, unharmed, was the target raising her hands. She was dancing and singing praise to her God.
She seemed like such an easy mark. He had been targeting her for weeks, filling her mind with doubt, causing discouragement, and foiling her plans. She seemed so defeated and helpless that he knew the time was right. So, what had caused the wind to move the arrow? He scanned the horizon and saw people praying. Some prayers were simply “Lord, keep her safe, protect her.”
He also recalled that her lips had been moving just moments before he let loose the arrow. He hadn’t thought a thing about it at that moment because there was no audible sound. “What had she been saying?” he wondered. “Why would people be praying for her? She was a nobody.”
Sara’s simple pray was more like a plea, “Lord, Help me!” Life had been really difficult for her lately. Every time she seemed to be making progress at work, something would happen to put her behind schedule, which would then cause problems with relationships at home. Her husband and children didn’t seem to understand; she felt so discouraged and all alone. No one understood, maybe she should just quit. Why did she think should could make a difference when she was just a nobody? How had she gotten here? She felt defeated, discouraged, disillusioned, and alone. Nothing or no one else seemed to notice or care, so she did the only other thing she could. She called out a plea to the Lord.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies (Psalms 18:3).
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears (Psalms 18:6 ).
Sara only had to cry out to the Lord in her distress, and He answered. He stepped in and saved her from the enemy’s arrow.
Sara’s enemy skulked away and as he was reporting his failure to the commander, the commander suddenly stood up, and caught the attention of everyone in the vicinity. “Do you not know that the Lord protects and saves those that call upon his name? But not just that, you obviously didn’t distract the others from their prayers either, even when one prays they have power, but when more pray, we are defeated!”
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19)
Prayer changes things! No matter how insignificant we may feel our prayers are, when we ‘cry out’ or even speak a prayer for others, GOD HEARS!
Have you ever had a person’s name cross your mind and discounted it or pushed the thought aside?
I am guilty of this very thing. Someone’s name comes across my mind and I think, “I should call or text them. I haven’t seen them in a while.” Then, I simple forget or I just discount it as a random thought and move on with the current task at hand. Later, I find out that they weren’t feeling well, or had something going on around the time, and a call or a quick text would have encouraged them.
God will often gently nudge us to reach out to others at times when they need it the most, but it doesn’t make sense to us. We need to take the time to pray for those whose names cross our minds, and even take the time in the midst of our own daily life to ‘cry out’ to God. He hears. Prayers matter, prayers change things, and prayers make a difference.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16b)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:10 – 18).
You also might want to check out my latest Book Review Monday – Empire’s End plus you can enter the giveaway to win a free copy of Empires End by Jerry B Jenkins
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