I thought about prayers that bounce off the wall, figuratively of course, as I wondered what Abraham must have felt while waiting for his promised son. The Bible said he believed God (Galatians 3:6) yet after ten years of waiting, he tried to force God’s hand by yielding to Sarah’s suggestion that since she was well past childbearing age, that he tried with the younger Hagar to see if she would give him a son (Genesis 16:1-4). That plan backfired when God “rejected” the son of that union (Genesis 17:17-22) and poor Abe had to wait another fourteen years before Issac was born to him and Sarah as God had promised. The fact that God kept on appearing to the couple in the narrative is significant because it tells us that His eyes had never left them. It is some comfort to us to know that even as it seems all heaven is silent and God is nowhere to be found, He knows exactly where we are and what is going on with us all the time.
So what does one have to with the other? God opened Sarah’s womb when Abraham prayed for the opening of the wombs of the women of Abimelech’s household. Not that God needed Abraham’s help. He had closed the wombs all by Himself and could just as easily have re-opened them by Himself. However, since God does not waste words, I believe one lesson for us is that when we need something desperately and know of others with a similar need, if we pray for them first then we set in motion the spiritual mechanism necessary for our own answered prayers. We see this principle at work in the story of Job as well. While we remember that God gave Job double for his trouble, we often forget that “the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). Note the time it happened – “when he prayed for his friends.”
When our hearts are open to the needs of others, we find God’s heart open towards us. Looking out for ourselves and ours is a learned behavior; God intended for us to look out for each other. Every now and then why not forget about yourself and your needs and pray earnestly and fervently for someone who has the same needs as you? I believe now is as good a time as any to start. God is watching and I believe He stands ready to release your blessing as He releases the blessings of those you have prayed for.