5th Sunday of Lent

Those who pray keep alive the fires of faith. For the most part we don’t even know their names. Such is the case of someone who prayed on a day long ago. His name is not important. He is important not because of who he was, but because of what he did.
He went to Jesus on behalf of a friend. His friend was sick, and Jesus could help. Someone needed to go to Jesus, so someone went. Others cared for the sick man in other ways. Some brought food, others provided treatment, still others comforted the family. Each role was crucial. Each person was helpful, but no one was more vital than the one who went to Jesus.
“The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, ‘Master, the one you love is ill.’”
Mary and Martha sent someone to Jesus. Someone carried the request. Someone walked the trail. Someone went to Jesus on behalf of Lazarus. And because someone went, Jesus responded.
In the economy of heaven, our prayers are a valued commodity. John wrote the story of Lazarus and was careful to show the sequence: The healing began when the request was made.
The phrase the friend of Lazarus used is worth noting. When he told Jesus of the illness, he said, “The one you love is ill.” The power of the prayer, in other words, does not depend on the one who makes the prayer, but on the one who hears the prayer.
We can, and must repeat the phrase in many ways. “The one you love is tired, sad, hungry, lonely, fearful, depressed.” The words of the prayer vary, but the response never changes.
The Savior hears the prayer. The Master heard the request. Jesus stopped whatever he was doing and took note of the man’s words. This anonymous courier was heard by God.
The message is critical. You can talk to God because God listens. Your voice matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. When you enter his presence, God turns to you to hear your voice. No need to fear that you will be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble, even if what you have to say impresses no one, it impresses God, and he listens.
God listens intently. God listens carefully. Your words do not stop until they reach the very throne of God. Your prayer on earth activates God’s power in heaven.
You are the someone of God’s kingdom. Your prayers move God to change the world. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don’t need to. But this much is clear: Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought!
When you speak, Jesus hears.
And when Jesus hears, the world is changed.
All because someone prayed.

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