Conntecting the Dots

Does Prayer Make a Difference?

Our phone rang early Monday morning. “Hello, I’m Jerry Kirk. My wife and I met you at the Seattle airport a couple of years ago. Do you remember us?” asked the caller.

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Yes, indeed, we remembered Jerry and his wife. Our paths crossed at the airport food court. There weren’t enough tables to accommodate scores of hungry travelers that day, so strangers shared tables with strangers.

We were privileged to share not only table space but also Christian fellowship with Jerry and his wife. We enjoyed an immediate faith bond. Jerry, a pastor, told us about God’s leading in his life to write The Covenant Prayer, and we told them about our overseas ministry and my books. Together we marveled at how God equips those who say yes and how He opens doors to ministry opportunities as we walk by faith in obedience.

We parted ways after our meal that day and we’ve had no contact since, so Monday’s call came as a surprise. It also came loaded with encouragement.

“I’ve prayed for you almost daily since we met,” Jerry said. “What has God been doing in your lives?”

I did a quick mental recall of the timing of our meeting. It was November, 2012. A faith-testing roller-coaster ride began on January 11, 2013.

First came my ruptured Achilles tendon. Then came complete loss of mobility for three months, during which time I underwent knee surgery and physiotherapy twice weekly. Also during that time, I was working to complete three book deadlines and write 40 devotions for a Guideposts Books devotional. Amazingly, I met every deadline.

Shingles hit me in April, two weeks after I started walking again. Then our daughter married in August after a five-week engagement. Eight days later came the birth of our fifth grandchild—a month before his due date. In October, my husband landed in hospital with a blood infection contracted from a prostate biopsy, and two weeks later he received a cancer diagnosis.

Through all the ups and downs, we experienced God’s undeniable presence and power. No doubt His people’s faithful prayers–Jerry’s included–played a huge role.

In 2014 we’ve experienced God’s power in other amazing ways. After seven years of praying for our ministry’s needs, it seems a breakthrough has come: Someone donated $10,000 to underwrite the cost of our camp to Romanian teens living with HIV/AIDS. Another donor gave $20,000 to help make camp possible for 800 Ukrainian orphans. A church donated $10,000 towards furnishing a new building that will house Romanian orphans. Other donors have sent boxfuls of good, used clothing for abused and abandoned women and children in Eastern Europe. And the list goes on.

Personally, I sensed a shift in my speaking ministry earlier this year, so I sought God’s direction for months before taking a step. He’s opening doors, providing a team and funding in a way that leaves me in awe. (Stay tuned—I’ll go public when the graphics are complete).

Does prayer make a difference? Absolutely. It doesn’t guarantee the results we want or the timing we wish, but it moves God to action. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results,” says James 5:16. Jerry’s call reminded me of this truth, and it encouraged me to persist in prayer even when the answer seems slow in coming.

Take a moment to check out Jerry’s Covenant Prayer. And feel free to share with us how you’ve seen God answer your prayers.

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