How far can our prayers go?

He was a man whose life had been made small by false imprisonment. Was he praying for his own release? We can’t know for sure, but we do know from the story in the Bible that this man, Joseph, was leaning on and listening to God. The result was a ripple effect, putting him in a position to help, first, other prisoners and, later, a whole nation and surrounding lands (see Genesis 39–45).

Ultimately, there was nothing small or constrained about Joseph’s life—or his prayers. His consistent and active communion with the Divine did free him from prison in Egypt, but the blessing extended far beyond Joseph’s own circumstances. His trust in God also saved many thousands from famine and later even helped to redeem and sustain family members who’d sold him into slavery.

From Joseph to Jesus, there’s biblical evidence spanning centuries that although prayer begins at the level of the individual, its reach is boundless. And this history of prayer’s big-picture results offers a powerful lesson on what prayer is and what it can do. 

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Feeling God’s mercy
October 23, 2023

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