More Power to You
Have you ever wondered if your prayers really make a difference?
Most people do at one time or another, especially if they’ve been praying long and hard for a breakthrough in a certain situation but haven’t seen the desired result. The next time your faith in prayer gets tested, consider this:
In a factory, an elongated steel bar weighing 500 lbs (about 225 kg) was suspended by a chain. Near it‚ an average-size cork was suspended by a silk thread. “When we come back to this spot later,” a tour guide told a group of sightseers, “you will see something that is seemingly impossible. This cork will have set this steel bar in motion.” The guide set in motion a mechanism whereby the cork tapped gently and repeatedly against the steel bar, which remained motionless. The visitors watched for a minute or two as the cork struck the iron bar with pendulum-like regularity, then they moved on. Ten minutes later, the bar was vibrating slightly, and when the tour group returned at the end of an hour, the heavy bar was swinging like the pendulum of a clock.
So the next time you feel you aren’t exerting a feather’s weight of influence on others through your prayers, remember the cork. God hears and answers every prayer in His time and as He knows best, but sometimes you must be patient. Often people and situations don’t change overnight, even after we have prayed. But if you will be like the cork, your love and prayers will eventually prevail. Every prayer you pray is like another tap of the cork. It may not appear to make a difference, but over time it will all add up and bring the victory.
What if the cork had taken one look at the steel bar and decided it was no use—the bar wasn’t going to budge? Or what if the cork had struck the bar once or twice and given up? What if it had tried to do it at its own pace, and had gotten out of the rhythm that the one who set it in motion knew was needed?
You must not get discouraged when your prayers don’t seem to be having any effect, or try to take matters into your own hands. The secret of the cork’s success was simply doing its part and keeping at it. You can’t change the person or situation you are praying for. Only God can do that. Your part is to pray and keep praying—to keep giving it one more tap in the right direction. The results will come in God’s time.
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In prayer you align yourselves to the purpose and power of God and He is able to do things through you that He couldn’t do otherwise. This is an open universe, where some things are left open, contingent upon our doing them. If we do not do them, they will never be done. God has left certain things to prayer—things that will never be done except as we pray.
—Dr. E. Stanley Jones
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