Here’s the concept—or maybe I shouldn’t give it to you all at once! No—this post will be entirely too long if I try to tell the whole story. I’ll spare you and just blurt it out as planned.
There’s no expiration date on prayer.Isn’t that just amazing?! It totally thrills my Jesus-adoring, praise-offering, prayer-dependent soul!
You see, there is an expiration date on me—at least on the physical me. Someday, hopefully not for a long while yet, but someday, I’m going to die—probably before some of my prayers are answered. I think this used to concern me, but I didn’t really realize that. I think a part of me thought I had to stay alive until I saw all my prayer concerns taken care of because otherwise the things I was concerned about might not get done. Somebody has to keep the needs of this world before the Lord!
(Mercy me, Janet. When are you going to learn you’ve got a BIG, loving God with a perfect-timing plan who doesn’t need reminders from little, human you?)
The fact is: I don’t have to be alive for God to answer my prayers! Rejoice with me! This is very good news. This is truly a great relief! Aren’t you just shouting, “Praise God!” right now as you realize this means the same for you?! We don’t have to worry about staying alive to make sure God gets around to answering all of our prayers. Once we’ve prayed them, they last!
Jesus modeled this in John 17. First He prayed for Himself. Then He prayed for His disciples. Finally He prayed for all believers to come—ever! Jesus prayed for you and for me—then He died. Then He came back to life and went to Heaven where He’s preparing a home for you and for me.
Of course, after I die, I’ll be in Heaven, too. Maybe that’s part of why prayers last—maybe I get to remind God in person. No! God won’t need my reminders—even then. The prayers last because God knows they are important. They are important to us. We are important to Him. Our prayers are important to Him, too. (In fact, Revelation 5 and 8 tell us that He keeps them as incense in golden bowls before His throne. He keeps them! They please Him! He surrounds Himself with their scent—wow!)
When a person dies, God doesn’t say, “Guess I’m off the hook for that prayer.” He loves His children too much for that!
More likely, He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome to Heaven. I’ll finish the work on Earth.” Doesn’t that just knock the weight of the world right off your shoulders?!
I see two parachute prayers coming from this post. Tune in tomorrow for the first.