STORED UP PRAYERS
Acts 10:4 ¶ And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” ¶ So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.
If you really think about it, prayers have an eternal something about them because they are generated by God. Prayers are actually stored up. One of the stunning visions in the book of Revelation is found in chapter 8 where the angel hurls the censer full of prayers to the earth, this begins the season of justice aimed at man. This censer is full of the prayers of the church and it effects what happens during the last days of our planet. Your prayers are all stored up. Prayers for your kids, your parents, your neighbors, none of them are forgotten or wasted. They all last forever. In today’s verse the angel tells Cornelius that his prayers have come up as a memorial before God. What happened that day was somehow connected to those stored up prayers. Here is how A. B. Simpson sees it.
“What a beautiful expression the angel used to Cornelius, Thy prayers are come up for a memorial. It would almost seem as if supplications of years had accumulated before the Throne, and at last the answer broke in blessings on the head of Cornelius, even as the accumulated evaporation of months bursts in floods of rain upon the parched ground. God is represented as treasuring the prayers of His saints in vials; they are described as sweet odors. They are placed like fragrant flowers in the chambers of the king and kept in constant remembrance before Him. Later they are said to be poured out upon the earth; and lo, there are voices, and thunderings and great providential movements fulfilling God’s purposes for His kingdom. We are called “the Lord’s remembrancers,” and are commanded to give Him no rest, day or night, but to crowd the heavens with our petitions. And in due time the answer will come with its accumulated blessings. Not a whisper of true prayer is ever lost. The longer it waits, the larger it becomes.”
What a powerful thought, all of your prayers have a lasting effect. Your forgotten prayers, your casual prayers, those desperate prayers; they are all stored up and are released as a memorial before God. In Cornelius’ case, it resulted in an incredible outpouring of the Spirit upon his family. He had obviously be praying for some kind of awakening for his family and friends. What have you been asking God for lately? All those prayers have been heard and apparently there is some kind of accumulated effect that results in answered prayer. So what do you think surprised Cornelius the most that day? Was it the angel that showed up in his house or maybe it was the effect of all those forgotten prayers. It seems his whole family was converted that day, maybe even the ones that seemed without hope.