One day, as I was bewailing a difficult circumstance, the Lord gave me this vision of His working in my life…
With shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, an old gold miner knelt beside a sparkling stream of water, bubbling with life. His weather-beaten hands clutched a sizable sieve like those used years ago for panning gold. On it rested a massive amount of dirt and rocks of all sizes, shapes, and hardness.
Undaunted, he knelt there, concentrating on the debris. Shaking the sieve with vigor, then again with tenderness, he continued his apparent mission, as if on a treasure hunt for some mysterious element.
The dirt and smaller pebbles slipped through the holes in the screen, disappearing downstream into waters that appeared to have a life of their own. The remaining larger, coarse rocks on the screen grated against each other, altering their appearance.
Tears began to trickle down his furrowed cheeks and fall upon the transformed rocks, washing away the leftover traces of dirt. An all-knowing smile gradually spread across his aged face. His eyes twinkled, reflecting the anticipated precious treasure, the golden gems now resting on the sieve.
He glanced up and whispered, “My Word is the screen sifting out all the impurities of your life, while the Living Waters wash them away. In My love for you, I am ever at work in your circumstances. As they rub against you, they transform you and rid you of those things that would dirty your life and taint your work for Me. As I remove them, you are made into that precious, golden gem, reflected in My eyes.”
Through this vision, the Lord showed me that, no matter what circumstances occur in my life, no matter how relentlessly they rub against me, He allows them all to be sifted through His Word, His love, and His fingers, changing me into His image and that golden reflection in His eyes.
“This means tremendous joy to you, even though at present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident – it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold…” (1 Peter 1:6-7a Phillips)
According to the English dictionaries, some of the meanings of the word ‘impact’ say the effect of one thing on another, the power of making a strong, immediate impression, bear on, touch on, influence, effect, the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology, to fill up, or alter.
Can all this be applied to our prayer times? Do our prayers have…
1) an impact on us?
2) an impact on our family, others, or the world?
1) …on us? If our intimate conversations with the Lord do not impact us in some way…touching, influencing, effecting us…are we making the most of our prayer times?
* Do we allow God’s Word to alter us?
* Do we allow the Lord to fill us with His purpose, His vision, His heart?
* Do we sit still long enough to allow His presence to make an impression on us, influencing the way we think and ultimately changing the way we speak and act?
The Bible tells us to “be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2 Amp)
‘Renew’ defined, by Vine’s Expository Dictionary, says it is “the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life.” There’s that impact.
Are our morals and spiritual thinking impacted and renewed as we sit at the foot of the throne?
As new creations, “what counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.” (Gal. 6:15 TLB)
2) …on our family, others, or the world? If our intimate conversations with the Lord do not impact us, how then do we think outside of ourselves and plea for others, thus impacting their lives?
Sometimes God calls on us to pray for a certain person or situation even when we have no knowledge of the whys or what-fors. It may be to save someone from a disastrous circumstance, to give them needed comfort, or to right some wrong. The Spirit leads us in those times to be an intercessor.
Do we obey the Spirit’s call? Do we also make it a regular habit to pray for those other than our family members? Do we have a worldview, praying around the world to save the oppressed, the hungry, the poor, the naked, the hurting, the lost?
Jesus said, “Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35b NIV) Therefore, we pray that the Lord will send someone to cross the path of the lost, for scripture says we are to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:38 NKJV)
God “doesn’t want anyone lost.” (2 Peter 3:9b Msg) He desires all mankind to recognize Him as the Good Shepherd of the sheep. Of those who do not yet acknowledge Him as the Shepherd, He agonizes that they are lost without Him. His family flock is incomplete without them.
Just while you are reading this, hoards of lost sheep have wandered off the path and have fallen off the precipice of life. Is there a lost sheep you can rescue from falling into the great abyss of eternal death?
Is your life impacted by those intimate words shared with the Lord in your prayer times? Are you influenced, transformed, and renewed enough to impact the lives of others with your prayers?
May your prayer times transform you and, in turn, impact the lives of others for the Kingdom of God!