A Heavenly Perspective on Prayer

April 23rd, 2013 · by Tom Stuart · Prayer

“And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be . . .and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”   Jeremiah 29:7

Recently I was on a late evening flight from Chicago to Minneapolis.  I happened to have a window seat, which I usually eschew because of my gangly frame and long legs.  It was a clear night and I found great delight in looking out the window at all the lights demarcating the expressways, streets, businesses and homes of Chicago as we climbed into the night sky and headed west.  It wasn’t long before the earth below grew dark and there were far less concentrations of lights.  As we made our way over Northern Illinois and into Wisconsin the intriguing clusters of lights extending to the black horizon stirred my imagination.

Across the moonless landscape I was able to see towns of varying sizes and shapes with their distinctive lighting patterns illuminated primarily by their street lights.  But I also noticed scattered here and there solitary lights coming from rural family farms and what I imagined to be isolated business located along the roads connecting people and the greater clusters of lights to one another.

As I sat and marveled at the clarity with which I was seeing the earth below from my perspective at 40,000 feet, I began to imagine what it must be like for God to look down from heaven in search of those whose hearts are turned toward Him in prayer and intercession.  I could just envision that each one of those lights represented some devout person who was at that very moment praying earnestly to God.  That as it were, they were night watchmen literally illuminating the darkness around them by their intercession.   As they stood in the gap before God on behalf of their families and communities and they were building up a hedge of protection against every demonic enemy, the darkness was being driven back. (Ezekiel 22:30)

I was seeing, as I have never seen it before, the fulfillment of Jesus’ commission for us as His people to be the light of the world.  I could see us as His body, reflecting His glory through prayer and intercession for all mankind and being “The light [that] shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)

It has been noted that prayer is like turning on a light.  God is the source of electric current, the power and it is His light that shines out through us.  We are like the bulb and the light fixture and our prayers are the light emanating from it.  Our job is to simply enter our prayer closet and flip on the switch.  As with real world bulbs and light fixtures, pray-ers have differing wattage and illumination patterns.  A lot depends on the levels of faith we have and the earnestness of our prayers.

The important thing though, is to answer His call to watch and pray, and flip on that switch to light the darkness.

As I was meditating upon all of this I realized the Lord was giving me a picture of what it looks like from heaven when His people respond to His call to be intercessory watchmen for their city and surrounding community.  The heart of God is for each of us as His people to carry a burden in prayer for the places in which we live.  The mandate could not be clearer.  “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be . . . and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”  (Jeremiah 29:7)

Imagine what God would see from heaven if his people made a commitment to take their place on the walls of their communities as watchmen, and pray daily for its blessing and protection?  Imagine the light flooding our city streets and neighborhoods, schools, medical facilities, government offices, social agencies, nursing homes and businesses?  Imagine the light of Christ blessing and prospering the upright and faithful.  Imagine the light protecting the innocent by driving out every evil element and bringing to naught every evil plan.  Imagine the gospel going forth unfettered and finding fertile soil in the hearts of those who hear it.

That is God’s desire for us.  Are you flipping the switch and letting your light of prayer bring pleasure in heaven’s eyes?

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