Have you ever wondered if you are making a difference when you pray for people? I have. Let me share a page of my life and how God dramatically showed me I was making a difference.
A while back I was a baby Christian in a first-year engineering class of 300+ guys. Every day I would cry out to the Lord Jesus to save these fellows because God had given me such a love and concern for them (Romans 5:5). I didn’t know that much about prayer but I had finally received a prayer language that summer (Acts 2:2-4,8) and I used to pray under my breath all day long while I took lecture notes. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18). Whenever I had a chance I would read my Gideon new testament and Psalms and pray the verses that spoke to me.
Well in third year engineering I remember asking “Lord!?, I’ve been praying so long for these guys and I don’t see the difference my prayers are making. Could you show me if I’m making a difference?”
It wasn’t too many days from that point when, because of my course choices, I got thrown into a class of guys that were in fourth year and another class of guys that were in second year engineering. What an eye opener I got in both classes!
There were porn magazines being passed around. The guys were loud, rude and crude and totally disrespectful towards the professors. Filthy language abounded and they threw paper airplanes and spit balls at the professors!!! They also stomped their feet whenever anybody tried to leave the lecture hall.
My class was almost the opposite in comparison. The guys were well-behaved, respectful towards the professors, and there to learn. We had a lot of fun, but it was clean fun. I remember the groans when the profs would load us down with assignments, but nobody would think of bad-mouthing the prof while he was lecturing. No wonder the professors were always amazed at the ambiance in my class.
After I got over the shock I went to a friend and asked if he had noticed the same thing. He said he had but he couldn’t explain why our class was so different. I was beginning to understand. God showed me the authority I had in Jesus as a believer. I’ve never forgotten it.
“For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (ways of thinking). We (you and I) demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we (you and I) take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
So… be encouraged! We do make a difference when we pray for others. We are co-labourers with Christ and his love never fails (1 Corinthians 3:9, 1 Corinthians 13:8). At the time I didn’t know the scriptures like I do now, but God heard my heart’s cry and changed the very atmosphere in my classes day after day in response to my prayers and tears (which I tried to hide).
PS: I’m still praying for these guys and claiming them for the Lord.