Would you say that your prayers make a difference? Do they matter to God? Are they having any significant impact?
Generally, the enemy of our souls tries to convince us that our prayers are futile. As Derek Prince said in a message from which we will quote later in this letter:
“Probably the time when the devil is injecting into your mind the thought, ‘I’m not getting anywhere,’ you’re much nearer getting somewhere than you ever were before, and the devil knows it. He knows if he doesn’t stop you in the next five minutes, you’re going to strike oil.”
This letter will confirm a truth you and I regularly need to hear: our prayers matter!
The Prayers of the Saints
I got a call recently from a friend who has been connected to the work of DPM for many years. As soon as I heard her voice, I could tell that she was unusually burdened.
“Dick, I feel like I’m carrying an overwhelming weight of prayer for the world — like I need to be praying all the time for what’s going on….”
As we talked together, I encouraged her by confirming that her impulse to intercede is absolutely real and genuine. I also assured her of my belief that her prayers are having a significant effect.
At the same time, hoping to ease her personal burden somewhat, I brought up a thought from the book of Revelation.
I pointed out that the cumulative prayers of the saints go up collectively before God as incense. She didn’t have to feel alone in her prayer vigil. Many saints are interceding — and taken together, those prayers make a tremendous impact.
A Growing Confidence
Prayer is a mystery, and it can often be a battle. On the one hand, we fight the feeling that it’s useless to pray.
At the other extreme, you and I can take on such a burden of intercession that we exhaust ourselves. Even with these conflicting situations, when we take time to pray — whether for an individual need or the world situation —our prayers matter.
David had confidence God would hear his prayers. In Psalm 17:6, he confidently stated: “I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me and hear my speech.”
The same is true with Daniel, who asked The LORD in 9:18 to “incline Your ear and hear.” Then, he confidently implored The LORD in verse 19: “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God.”
While Daniel was still speaking these words, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him: “At the beginning of your supplications, the command went out….” (v. 23).
What is the message? God inclines His ear to hear you and me.
Whether it is a request that receives an immediate response, or a petition which joins with many others going up as incense before the throne of God, it is valuable in His sight. Your prayer matters to Him!
The Impact of Our Prayers
In one of the regular updates Derek Prince provided during his ministry, he explored this same passage from Revelation which I had discussed with my friend.
Here are some of Derek’s thoughts from “Update 15” about the effect of our prayers.
“I’ll close with this reading from Revelation chapter 8. It describes a scene in heaven where the Lamb is opening the seven seals of the scroll which are the theme of the book of Revelation.
“When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour…. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.”
There could be many ways of interpreting that scene; but let me tell you briefly how I see it.
First of all, why was there silence in heaven? My personal feeling is there was silence because the people in heaven were waiting to hear the prayers of God’s saints on earth.
It blesses me to think that when God’s saints on earth really get to praying, heaven becomes silent to listen to their prayers.
Then, after the prayers had come up before God, the angel took the live coals from it and he hurled them on the earth. The response on earth was peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
That, to me, is what happens when God’s people pray. Their prayer goes up before God. God answers by taking the coals of their prayer and casting them on earth.
That act certainly changes things on earth. Much of the disturbance in the earth today, I believe, is caused by the prayers of God’s people. God is shaking many things that He is not in favor of — shaking systems, shaking dynasties, shaking nations — because His people are praying. The coals of their prayers with the incense are thrown onto the earth, and the earth reels and shakes under the impact of the prayers of God’s people.”
Part of His Plan
You and I may not often feel that our prayers shake the earth — but they do. Not only does God hear us. He uses our petitions to accomplish His purposes in the earth.
Are you grateful to take part in His plan? Let’s tell Him now.
LORD, I offer myself afresh as one who will engage in prayer and intercession for the fulfillment of Your Purposes.
Thank You for this privilege.
I shake off every doubt about the significance of my prayers. I boldly declare today that I know You hear them, and I know they matter to You.
By Your grace and Your help, I will continue to stand strong in prayer. Amen.
Lessons in the School of Prayer
With this simple affirmation, you and I have taken a step to propel our involvement in the Kingdom of God to another level.
This step is especially important in light of the current crucial situations in the world around us, including upcoming national elections. Without a doubt, this is a critical time for us to be interceding, knowing that our prayers matter.
If we at DPM can be of greater encouragement to you as you deepen your prayer life, we want to help. Derek Prince had much to say about this vital area, and we would be glad to share it with you, starting with free access to “Update 15” from which we took his quote.
Derek’s updates are an interesting mix: reports of events going on in his life, but also his thoughts from various passages of Scripture . “Update 15” is particularly unique, because it includes what Derek calls “lessons in the school of prayer” which he learned over the years.
We offer this resource to you in thanks for your prayers on our behalf and your generous support of the work going on here at DPM. We are extremely grateful to you.
How God Responds
Think of it! Our prayers and intercessions play a vital role in the fulfillment of God’s purposes in the earth.
Toward the end of “Update 15,” this is what Derek Prince said:
“So, I want you to think, in closing, of your prayers going up before God. Our prayers are going up before God, being offered up with incense before Him.
Then a part of them are thrown down again upon the earth to bring about the things that we pray for. Sometimes the answer to our prayers isn’t smooth and peaceful.
Sometimes it is catastrophic, or it is tumultuous. We need to be open to see that this is one of the ways in which God answers the prayers of His people.”
It may seem implausible…even impossible. But it’s true. Your prayers matter.
All the best,
P.S. Thanks again for your partnership. I want to especially encourage you to download the free MP3 of “Update 15” because of the priceless “lessons in the school of prayer” which Derek Prince shares.
It is so helpful, and so practical — I know it will bless you. With this letter, we have also included a PDF download of a “special prayer for elections” which will be useful to you in the days ahead.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.