This story takes us back a few years ago (okay, so maybe it was more like 20 -
or is it closer to 25?). My wife and I had just returned from our honeymoon, and
we were heading for the capital of the state where we were residing, to apply
for my green card.
Having been born in Belgium, a green card was necessary in order for me to be able to stay in the United States. I had spent the last year teaching at a local college in a small town in that state, and I had a contract to continue teaching there the following school year. In fact, I was supposed to start teaching summer school in just a few days! The last school year had been considered legal due to a special visa granted to foreign students who had recently graduated from an American university. But the time on my visa was quickly running out. We knew we had to do something quickly.
We had already made one trip to immigration. We had gotten married in California, and just before leaving on our honeymoon, we had visited the local office. I was told that I would have to apply in the state where I would be residing, but I was assured that the process only took two weeks in California. Thanks to this information, we were able to have a stress-free honeymoon, and as we entered the Immigration office in our home state, I wasn't worried in the least.
I left shocked and shaking in my boots. I had just been told that it would take at least two years to obtain a green card, as immigration laws vary according to the state you live in! With summer school just days away, I would either be forced to work illegally, or I would have to break my contract.
We decided to contact a lawyer specializing in immigration issues. The initial visit cost us $500, money that we, as newlyweds, simply didn't have, and we were left no better off than we were when we entered the building. The future still looked grim. There was no hope in sight.
Back home, some friends suggested we contacted our local congressman. We did, and two months later, I had my green card. Why? Because an outstanding Congressman, a compassionate man who cared for his constituents, backed my application. His signature made all of the difference!
Having the backup of an important name can open closed doors. Prayer works in the same way. There is a reason why we are told to pray in the name of Jesus. When He allows us to use His name in this way, He is guaranteeing that He is backing up our requests!
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." (John 14:13 NIV)
"…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph 5:20 NIV)
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20 NIV)
It's hard to believe, isn't it? The Creator Himself, our Savior and Redeemer, backs up our prayers! And not only this, His Spirit plays an important role as well: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26 NIV); "the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)
We have an intercessor who helps us "in our weakness"! He helps us express our true selves in prayer, so that our words will reach to heaven!
But wait! It gets even better!
"Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens." (Heb 7: 24 - 26 NIV)
Not only in Jesus backing up our petitions by letting us used His name; not only is His Spirit interceding for us; but Jesus is interceding on our behalf as well! Our prayers are that important! With such high powers backing us up, we can be certain that our prayers are not only heard, but they are also being fulfilled according to our best eternal interest. God cares for us, and He is not only looking forward to spending time with us for eternity, but also to spending quality time with us right here and now. Wow! He is that awesome!
Let's never doubt that our prayers are important. Everything about you is significant to God! "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10 NIV)
Are you facing problems? Bring them to the highest authority possible! He cares for you!
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
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