In 1985, some friends invited me to an all-night prayer meeting at their church in the Santa Mesa area of Manila. I was happy to accept, and soon we were bouncing across the city in a jeepney.
When we arrived, many people came to greet us, including Pastor Gilbert Maghirang, a quiet man who immediately made me feel welcome with his warm smile.
The prayer meeting opened with worship, and then we began to systematically pray for the country, the city of Manila, the church, and the surrounding neighborhood. We prayed for several hours with short breaks in between.
As we prayed for the church’s needs, we asked God to use the church to reach the people of Santa Mesa who needed Jesus. The meeting ended around four o’clock in the morning. We caught a bus back home, tired but happy to have taken part.
When I looked out the window at the streets of Manila, I sensed the presence of the Lord and knew that He would use this church to bless the city.
Fast forward twenty-something years to a chapel service at Compassion. I was listening with special interest to Michelle Sheba Tolentino, one of our Moody scholars.
As she shared the details of her early years, I realized that she attended a project at Calvary Foursquare, the very church in Santa Mesa that had prayed so fervently for the Lord to use them so many years ago.
As Michelle shared how the Lord had transformed her life and her family, I realized that she was one answer to those long-ago prayers.
As we pray, we cannot understand how far reaching and powerful our prayers may be, unless the Lord graciously allows us to see a bit further than we normally can. He allows us to take part in the work that He is doing, and it is His work, not ours.
May the Lord continue to use this ministry to answer prayers and transform lives!
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. —Romans 8:26b–27, NIV
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You hear and answer our prayers, even after we have forgotten them! Keep using us and our prayers to bring Your presence and Your power to all those who need You.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Brockett works as a Sponsor and Donor Services Outbound Rep at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Read all the One in Spirit  devotionals.