How My Prayer Can Have an Eternal Impact on Others
Here we see a process that shows how my prayer can have an eternal impact on others.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25, CSB)
You know how my prayer can have an eternal impact on other? It can happen when I pray. Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God while in prison. Despite their circumstances, they chose to pray and worship, demonstrating the power of prayer in any situation.
Paul and Silas sing hymns and voice aloud their prayers to God for all the other prisoners to hear. The chains do not stop the gospel from being proclaimed.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon. “It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but the skillful singer is he who can sing when there is not a ray of light to read by … Songs in the night come only from God; they are not in the power of men.”
“Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:26, CSB)
The earthquake should be interpreted not as a lucky happenstance but as a response to their prayers. Jews would interpret such tremors as evidence of God’s sovereignty. Pagans were likely to interpret them as an expression of a deity’s anger and an omen of more evil to come.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, and the prison doors opened. This shows that God hears our prayers and responds, often in ways we don’t expect.
“When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because we’re all here!”” (Acts 16:27–28, CSB)
The jailer was about to harm himself, thinking the prisoners had escaped. But Paul assured him they were all there. Our prayers not only affect us but can also have a profound impact on those around us.
“Not only have I been shaken up by the earthquake under me, but I am shaken up by the fact that you guys didn’t split when you had the chance,” said the jailer.
Why do you think are you in prison? Why aren’t things happening? What’s preventing things from opening up as quickly as you hoped they would? Could it be because there are prisoners and jailers watching, who are about to see what happens in your life when things are shaken up? Could it be because there are people who need to see what’s going to happen to you in the midnight hour? For the most part, prosperity only creates jealousy. But when those around you hear you singing in the day of adversity, like the jailer they will say, “What must I do to be saved?”
“The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. He escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”” (Acts 16:29–31, CSB)
The jailer asked how he could be saved, and Paul responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Our faith and prayers can lead others to salvation.
Positive Gospel things happen.
“And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household.” (Acts 16:32–34, CSB)
After believing in God, the jailer washed their wounds and immediately he and all his household were baptized. He then brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. This shows that gratitude for our salvation should be expressed through our actions.
For example, the jailer demonstrates the authenticity of his faith by acting as the proper host.
Pastor Abedini, a former Muslim, was used by God to help found more than one hundred house churches in thirty cities in Iran. These houses contain more than two thousand members. He and his wife were forced to move from Iran to the United States in 2005. When Mahmoud Ahmedinejad rose to power, their situation became much more dangerous. While visiting family in Iran in 2012, Abedini was arrested and thrown into prison. There he underwent horrific torture and isolation for three years. But even then, God had a plan. During his first year in prison, Abedini led ten inmates to Christ.
Remember, prayer is powerful and can lead to unexpected blessings. Even in difficult times, we should maintain an attitude of gratitude, knowing that God hears our prayers.