The Power of One

This week we will observe as we usually do the National Day of Prayer by attending a gathering in our community. A message I heard there years ago has continued to resonate with me and I thought I’d revisit it today hoping to also bring encouragement to someone else.

The speaker noted that in our culture we tend to believe that (I think have this phrase verbatim): “More is powerful; less is worse; big is important; and small is insignificant.”

And yes, we do. It’s all about more and big in about every arena.

Our speaker’s wife had recently worked in Philadelphia, visited Independence Hall and sent him a picture of the room in which the Declaration of Independence was drafted, the “most important document of freedom” ever conceived. He noticed how small the room was and quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes…”

I thought of Ann Voskamp who has written how we should give thanks for the little things which magnifies our experience of God and His grace.

As an adolescent our speaker questioned a Sunday School teacher about the meaning of “The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

The teacher said, “It means your prayers matter.”

Right there was his point. One person’s prayers matter. Even when we don’t feel like they do. Even when we don’t see immediate results, the prayer of one person when offered from a heart turned to God can work much.

So, when we pray for the big stuff, like “God please turn a country back to you,” we can feel our prayers small. But they aren’t. “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with (James 5:16 The Message).

As our speaker said, it’s easy to slip into thinking, ““More is powerful; less is worse; big is important; and small is insignificant.”

But one person’s prayers matter.

Let those prayers be yours.