Prayer Works

It was a cold Tuesday morning at 6:30am in downtown St. Charles. The wind blowing off the river made the air bitter. Eight brave souls gathered to pray and circle a city block in faith for God’s providence and provision. We prayed together with Jake and Caitlin Marten for Jake’s new printing business.

Jake had recently invested in a new printer to take the next step in his new business. But seemingly this deal was going bad. He had sent the money, but no printer was coming. Everything appeared like he was a victim of fraud. Jake was bitter. He was angry. He was withdrawn.

After listening to the Circle Maker message series for 4 weeks, Jake had dismissed the idea of drawing a prayer circle around his business. But he was humbled and the anxiety was beginning to overwhelm.

One Sunday night while Jake volunteered and served at Lord of Life’s Youth Hangout. The topic for the night was the Circle Maker message series. In that moment Jake knew what he had to do. It was to start praying circles around his business. So he made the commitment to pray each morning at 6:30am for the next week. He would circle the city block 7 times in prayer each day for 7 days.

The next morning Jake and Caitlin were there circling the block around the old Burger Drugstore and Harris Bank. And soon others would join in as well. The funny thing was that God soon expanded Jake’s prayers beyond the printer alone. He began to see needs and opportunities that he had not seen before. The bitterness and the anxiety were turned to compassion and mercy. As much as God was changing the circumstances, God was changing Jake’s heart. He started not to pray just for his business, but for the other businesses around. Most importantly he began to pray for the people he had sent his money to. He prayed for other people to come to know Jesus through his business.

Things started happening. The lines of communication began to open. Previously, he would make phone calls and send emails with no response. Now he was getting answers. There were still problems with getting the order filled, but the picture was more clear. Seemingly, progress was being made. He didn’t have the new printer yet, but he had something more valuable and that was a new heart.

Today, as I write this, Jake has received notice that the printer is being shipped. Here is a picture of it:

printer to ship

I would love to tell you that he has received it. But we are believing in faith that God has already answered that prayer. We give God thanks and praise for his goodness. We give him glory for the victory.

At Lord of Life we have identified 7 prayer circles for our church which I identified in a previous email. There are bold prayers and we are believing God for the answers for those prayers.

Believing in faith, I want to invite to join us in prayer each Sunday at 7:30am during the remaining season of Lent. We will lift these 7 prayers up to the Lord, along with other burdens upon our heart. One of the 7 prayers is that Lord of Life would be a house of prayer and this is the start of that. Regardless of the weather being wind, rain, sleet, or snow we will persistently call upon our Savior in faith.


  1. OverlappingMagsteria says

    I am very glad that everything turned out in Jake’s favor, but I have to question the wisdom and even the safety of performing the “Prayer Circles” as you have described.

    The method of walking around a location for 7 days while praying seems very remenicent of Joshua 6, in which this method was used to bring down the walls of Jericho. This method of prayer is Biblically used to destroy cities, not to receive favor from Almighty God.

    You should count yourself very blessed that Jake received his printer and that the entire block did not crumble down like Jericho!

  2. OverlappingMagsteria says

    A A:
    This is not a joke, but prayer must be taken very seriously. Used irresponsibly, it can cause harm!

  3. Edward Tarte says

    Yes. In Mt18,Mt21,Mk11,and Jn14, Your Biblical Jesus is quoted as saying that whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive. Faith is the only condition. This is one of the most unambiguous things that your Jesus ever reportedly said. Therefore I have a bold plan for you and your congregation that will drastically alter the course of human history. On Sunday, March 3, please pray for the immediate elimination of all cancer cells present and future on this planet. On Sunday, March 10, please pray for the immediate elimination of all Alzheimer’s disease present and future. And on Sunday, March 17, please pray that never again will a damaging earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or tsunami, occur on this planet. By your Jesus’ promise, all these prayers will be answered, and the entire world will be so grateful to you and your congregation.

    • Phil says

      Thanks Edward. I sense some sarcasm in your comment. We believe indeed that God does answer those prayers and he is. We believe in Jesus’ return where he will restore creation to its original order. You seem to be familiar with the Bible. It’s in Revelation 21. There is so much that is not right in this world and we all have done a good job of messing it all up. Making it right starts with loving others, living in peace, and practicing forgiveness as Jesus has taught. I am the first to admit that I am not perfect at that. I need to be the first one to change before I should expect God to answer my prayers.

      • Edward Tarte says

        Are you willing to follow my suggestions for those three Sundays in March? If not, why not? After all, your Biblical Jesus has promised. Are you willing to take him at his word?

  4. David Weidner says

    This prayer would have been much more miraculous if the pastor hadnt actually paid for the printer he received. My prayers are always answered when I order something on Amazon. Every single time. Amazon is my god now.

    • Sue Blue says

      Unfortunately, this kind of mental short-circuitry is all too common among True Believers. Jake never stops to wonder why God didn’t warn him not to do business with the shady company in the first place. He got into this mess because he didn’t bother to check the company’s reputation before ordering, but then expects God to get him out of it. I guess the moral is to just blunder stupidly through life with no real plan except “pray and trust god”. Unfortunately, counting on the old deus ex machina is no way to get through life.

  5. Ray says

    Wow! A printer after seven days of praying. Two thousand years of praying for peace on earth and still no results. How much longer?

  6. Ben says

    So basically God made this poor man get up at dawn, walk around the entire block not one, but SEVEN times, for SEVEN days, to get a freakin printer? That he had already paid for?!

    I’d find another god.

  7. Marco says

    I think it’s great that Jake is getting his printer. Now that the almighty is not busy with the printer any longer, maybe He will have time to shift his attention to Africa for a bit and take care of a few dying children. There is also a lot of need for clean water sources and let’s not forget those pesky illnesses we no longer get or can take care of easily in the western world but that still kill millions around the world.
    Frankly, if I were Jake I would have rather prayed for that since he has had such excellent results. Maybe once Jake receives his printer he would like to pray for all out veterans with missing limb to have them grown back. I think that would be very worthwhile.

    • Phil says

      Thanks Marco for your comment. I know God has used Jake in other places in the world. As God has provided for Jake he has given back by going to Haiti and working with children and orphanages there since the earthquake. He also had a hand in helping free a young girl who had been enslaved in prostitution while there. We ask why God doesn’t do anything about all the problems in this world, he asks us why we are doing anything about it. As Americans we are a small percentage of the population but we use up more than our fair share of the world’s resources. It is easy to mock the belief of others. If all the time we spent doing that was serving the needs of others the world would be a much better place.

      • DemocraticRepublicOfDave says

        So, what you are saying is that when it comes to the big stuff like eliminating disease, hunger, and poverty, prayers go unanswered and Jake admirably uses his skills and knowledge he has and goes to help out. But when it comes to printers, God is more than happy to help out the small business owner?
        Also did Jake finally receive the printer? (I noticed you considered it an answered prayer once he got the shipping notice.

  8. Phil says

    Wow, getting mocked by the atheists piling on the sarcasm! The point of the story is not the proof of God nor is it the fact that Jake received his printer. He truly thought he was a victim of fraud. It has been weeks since he place the order. The company disconnected their phone line at one point. Emails went unreturned for weeks at a time. The company also had a negative record with the Better Business Bureau. Leave it to your interpretation whether it was God or not that the printer came. It had much more to do with Jake’s attitude than the printer.

    We believe the power of prayer is more about how it connects us with God. It’s not so much about getting “gifts” from him. For a believer the gift is God himself and sharing a relationship with him. It gives us peace, joy, and a sense of purpose. That is my experience. You may say I am just deluding myself. That’s ok. I respect your opinion.

    I don’t really care to argue with anyone about God on the internet as that is the big waste of time. It usually just becomes a flame war. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. You have your story. I have mine. It is crazy in this world how everyone is so judgmental and critical of the beliefs or lack thereof of others.

  9. DoctorD says

    Well, Phil, if you’re going to write silly drivel on the internet, you’re going to attract a crowd pointing out your silliness.

    Maybe your LOL flock it too polite to call you on it, but man, you just opened yourself to well-deserved ridicule!

    • Phil says

      DoctorD- I find it interesting that so many people took the time to post a comment on something they found so silly. I don’t really care however. Like I said, just a bit surprised so many people were interested enough to write. I believe what I believe. Whatever you believe there are going to be people who ridicule you for it. I don’t expect everyone to understand or to accept it. You only live your life once. You make your choices. In the end it is all sorted out. We laugh at each other all we want now and dismiss anyone who doesn’t think like us or believe like us is silly, delusional, and uninformed. It doesn’t usually accomplish that much other than maybe make us feel good about ourselves because we are not like those “other people.” It’s no wonder there is so much that is wrong with this world.

      • Someguy says

        “I find it interesting that so many people took the time to post a comment on something they found so silly.”

        I find it interesting that posting a comment is somehow a Herculean effort, but marching around a building to beg a sky-wizard that a printer you paid for is somehow worthwhile.

        ” It doesn’t usually accomplish that much other than maybe make us feel good about ourselves because we are not like those “other people.” It’s no wonder there is so much that is wrong with this world.”

        Perhaps, but this is a story about a religious ritual performed in the hopes of receiving a PRINTER that was PAID FOR via the will of an allegedly all-powerful god. It’s as ridiculous as calling a win at a football game a miracle. How about this: If there is a god, and he’s more concerned with printer delivery than human suffering amongst the most defenseless of peoples, it’s no wonder there’s so much wrong with this world.

        Or better yet: If marching around a building to get a thing that you paid money for, shouting to something that doesn’t exist, is seen as actually doing something positive rather than, you know, actually DOING something positive, it’s no wonder there’s so much wrong with the world.

  10. a person says

    sooo… he ordered a printer and now hes getting one and thats proof of the power of prayer? wow. next i go the movies ill pray that i go to the movies

  11. Don says

    This morning I met with others and I prayed for those who have hard hearts…as I too, years back had a hard heart. I know where you are at in your arrogance toward God…but I know what has taken place in my life. You may disdain what I was doing this morning…but I want you to know that what I did with others was in love that you might find peace….this peace does not guarantee prosperity in this life but it is a peace that sees beyond this life and makes you stronger and drives out fear and cynicism…in the name of Jesus Christ, it is in surrender that I pray you will find the love that is there for you. A choice…a hard heart, or a searching heart to understand that which you do not know.

    • says

      So let me get this straight:

      -This morning you met with other people who were told by their parents as children about the same “god” you were told about as a child. (I highly doubt you found a mosque or synagogue or went skyclad in a woodland grove. They probably did the same with the groups of people told different stories.)

      -You spent your time telepathically asking this invisible entity for which you have no evidence to make everyone believe in it too.

      -You did this because you don’t want the invisible entity to send everyone to a lake of fire and sulfur to burn for ETERNITY because they committed any number of tiny infractions. (anything is tiny on the scale of eternity)

      -You are so afraid of this torture, which was also told to you by your parents as a child, that you can’t even directly call it what it is. You instead focus on how wonderful not being tortured is and call that “peace”.

      -You expect to be thanked for this, and hope it buys you enough brownie points with your imaginary friend to earn a ‘get out of torture free’ card.

      Do you know what this feels like to someone who has finally realized it’s all make-believe? Walking up to 2 people arguing whether Star War or Star Trek is better and telling them you don’t really care for either. (The Star Trek group even has the whole Kirk vs Picard infighting, and many Star Wars fans reject the prequel trilogy, so it makes a perfect analogy.)

      So next time you feel like praying for someone like me, give a homeless person a sandwich instead. It’ll do INFINITELY more good.

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