Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Exploding Prayer

“Wow, I bet the stars are having a heart attack right now!” gasped Johnny, my girlfriend’s five-year-old son. His sparkling brown eyes scanned the night sky.

We marveled at the magnificent fireworks display above the football field where we sat on blankets, staring above us. It was our church’s annual Fourth of July picnic.

Each rocket projected skyward trailing an invisible line and paused before bursting downward like cascading leaves. The colors spiraled into the night or blossomed upward creating a beautiful multi-colored garden that lit the sky. How do they work? I wondered, watching the smoke near the launching pad. 

Prayer is described as earthly petitions rising up “as the smoke of incense together with prayers” (see Revelation 8:4). Suddenly, I realized this was a new picture of prayer rising to God.

Again and again, each blast was accompanied by an unearthly silence — our eyes riveted to the small almost indiscernible streak paving its way to the heavens. The hush of anticipation broke into the “oohs and ahs” with each burst of color, sound, and light. Not one pattern was alike: each was varied, beautiful, and powerful.

We pray, shooting earthly petitions up to God. Sometimes it feels seemingly insignificant down here and almost indiscernible ... like the faint projectile. But once our prayers break through the Heavens — when God takes hold of them — something wonderful happens. Just like the fireworks, He responds to each prayer He receives producing powerful and varied results for all to see.

Sometimes after the initial blast, a frail wobbly line wiggled its way up to a black sky followed by silence.  “It’s a dud,” the crowd would grumble. Seconds more passed and “kaboom!” Every corner of the darkness filled with light, to our delight and surprise. We had written it off after waiting just a few seconds without seeing results! It’s our human nature. How quickly we give up praying if we feel our prayers are simply disappearing in thin air.

No wonder Jesus told his disciples that they "should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 (NIV) 

How does it happen? The power of God, described in Aramaic as dunamos is from the word dynamite. The hidden power of prayer waits with the potential of dynamite. As our hearts link to God, He ignites prayer. We whisper that prayer and it shoots up to heaven. When God receives it, He opens it, adding the power and the glory!

We see the answers come tumbling down from Heavenly places.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17 (NIV)

This year as you follow those tiny ribbons heavenward, attach a small prayer in your heart to one or two. As the color bursts forth, imagine God at work with your small act of faith. Be ready to wait and trust that it has reached its destination. God has heard your prayers and He is working on an answer.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…" Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Dear Lord, keep me praying, knowing it doesn’t matter how I feel — how great or small my prayers may sound. Each is answered and each is power-packed as it reaches you, Lord, in those heavenly places.

Copyright © Dee Aspin. Used by permission.

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