A large crowd cramped under the white canopy to hear the words of the pastor. It was the middle of an evangelistic campaign and it seemed the congregation only grew larger each night. A member of the visiting choir and mission group, I wandered around the perimeter gazing at the faces and doing my best to understand the pastor’s rapid Spanish monologue.
As I rounded a corner, I came across of small group of school mates and local church members sitting on the ground with their heads bowed. One, who happened to be a friend of mine, raised his head as I approached. In a theater whisper, in order to be heard over the congregation that was now singing, I asked what they were doing.
Praying, came the reply. They had chosen to dedicate themselves to prayer during the meetings. My attention was drawn to some boys playing soccer not far away. They were being prayed for so that the Spirit would inspire them to join the meeting. Pointing back at the canopy, he explained they were also praying for the members, visitors, and pastors who were present, that God’s blessing would be poured out on them. To start, rekindle, or renew each congregant’s relationship with Christ was the hope of this little band. It was the first time I had ever heard the term “prayer warrior.”
I became aware that the true power of prayer is not in asking God for favors or blessings, though He longs for us to open up the desires of our hearts to Him, but in praying for others. Up until that 2006 mission trip to Belize, I didn’t give prayer much thought. It was something I had to do, but I didn’t understand its reason or purpose. I distinctly remember praying for a puppy, all the while not expecting it to ever happen—how little faith I had! While I still have yet to get a puppy, God used that night in a Belizean village to start me on a journey, a prayer walk that has not only deepened my relationship with Him, but has enriched and continues to guide my daily life.
I became aware that the true power of prayer is not in asking God for favors or blessings—though He longs for us to open up the desires of our hearts to Him. The true power of prayer is in praying for others.
There were people whom our prayer band lifted before the Lord in that evangelistic series in 2006 whose lives were changed. We saw the grand decision of baptism take place before our eyes. God used this to strengthen my faith and I’ve since seen Him do more things in my life and in the lives of my family, friends, and church than I could ever properly express or imagine. The Lord used an unsure, unbelieving heart to make a difference for those villagers in Belize.