… true effectual prayer has a range of influence far beyond the personal life of the one who prays. No person is ever isolated, unrelated and alone.
What we are and what we do flow out and help to determine what others shall be and shall do, and even so in the highest spiritual operations and activities of the soul we contribute some part toward the formation of the spiritual atmosphere in which others are to live and we help to release currents of spiritual energy for others than ourselves. If we belong, as I believe we do, in a real kingdom of God–an organic fellowship of inter-related lives–prayer should be as effective a force in this inter-related social world of ours as gravitation is in the world of matter. … We are no longer in the net of blind fate, in the realm of impersonal force–we are in a love-system where the aspiration of one member heightens the entire group, and the need of one–even the least–draws upon the resources of the whole–even the Infinite. We are in actual Divine-human fellowship.
Prayer releases energy as certainly as the closing of an electric circuit does. It heightens all human capacities. It refreshes and quickens life. It unlocks reservoirs of power. It opens invisible doors into new storehouses of spiritual force for the person to live by, and, as I believe, for others to live by as well.
Brother Lawrence [author, The Practice of the Presence of God] was right when he said: “It is into the soul permeated with living faith that God pours his graces and his favors plenteously. Into the soul they flow like an impetuous torrent, when it finds a passage for its pent up flood after being dammed back from its ordinary course by some obstacle.”
We must have faith in the Beyond.
– excerpts, Rufus Jones, “Prayer as an Energy of Life,” The World Within, 1921
There was a man in Caesarea by the name of Cornelius, a centurion in what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a deeply religious man who reverenced God, as did all his household. He made many charitable gifts to the people and was a real man of prayer. About three o’clock one afternoon he saw perfectly clearly in a dream an angel of God coming into his room, approaching him, and saying, “Cornelius!”
He stared at the angel in terror, and said, “What is it, Lord?”
The angel replied, “Your prayers and your deeds of charity have gone up to Heaven and are remembered before God. Now send men to Joppa for a man called Simon, who is also known as Peter. He is staying as a guest with another Simon, a tanner, whose house is down by the sea.”
When the angel who had spoken to him had gone, Cornelius called out for two of his house-servants and a devout soldier, who was one of his personal attendants. He told them the whole story and then sent them off to Joppa.
Acts 10: 1-6
J. B. Phillips, translator,
The New Testament in Modern English, 1958.