09/22/16 Prayer Matters

READING: Amos 6-9

Prayer matters. 

It’s mysterious, but it matters. 

It’s hard to explain how it works, but it matters.

Amos apparently knew that. The Lord showed him a vision of a coming invasion of locusts upon the land of the people of God, and the prophet saw the destruction that was to come. His heartfelt response was to intercede for the nation: “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive?” (Amos 6:2). When God next showed Amos a coming fire that would devour the land, he again cried out to God: “Sovereign Lord, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive?” (Amos 6:4). In both cases, God relented of His judgment. “This will not happen,” He said (Amos 6:5).  

We can wrestle all day with theological questions and implications behind these texts, but we can’t ignore the fact that God responded to the prayers of the prophet. God showed Amos that judgment was coming. Amos pleaded with God that it not happen. In response, God halted the plan. Just as He was willing to stay the judgment on Sodom in response to Abraham’s praying (should ten righteous people be present — Gen 18:22-33), God heard the prayers of Amos. Our God is both sovereign and responsive to the prayers of His people. 

Amos was just one man. He was not a trained religious leader. He was “not a prophet nor the son of a prophet” (Amos 7:14). In fact, he was a shepherd. God called him, however, to prophesy to His people, and the shepherd prayer warrior made a difference. His pleadings before the Father did not go unheard. 

I read today’s texts, and I want to pray more. I’m just one man, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that God responds to prayer.  


  • Think about the reality that God could, if He chooses, bring judgment on our nation. Intercede for Americans, especially as we face the uncertainty of a presidential election.     
  • No matter who you are, your prayers can make a difference. Spend more time today with God than you did yesterday. 

PRAYER: “Sovereign Lord, forgive us. Forgive me. I beg you to change us so that we follow You fully.”      

TOMORROWS READING: Obadiah 1; Jonah 1-4