But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
The author relays the story of an elderly woman who attended his church while he was growing up — a quiet and unassuming woman. When he was a teenager, she told him that she regularly prayed for him.
Although that encounter didn’t seem particularly remarkable, he remembered it.
Many years later, in the midst of a 3-day fast, the author saw the following scenario as a dream or vision about her secret prayer life.
A number of saints were presenting themselves before the judgment seat of Christ. At the feet of each saint was a heap of works – a lifetime of labor they were offering to the Lord.
The author observed that many of the piles seemed impressive – presented by impressive people.
The woman who prayed for him stood behind an unimpressive heap.
One by one, a flaming torch touched the piles.
One by one their works went up in smoke.
Until the flame touched the offering presented by the elderly woman.
Unlike the others, her pile, unassuming as it seemed, turned to pure gold.
The preceding story stuck with me through the years. Perhaps those who serve the Master willingly, often do so unaware. I wonder, do those works make up the bulk of our reward?
In addition to prayer, the smile, the unexpected small (or large) gift to someone in need, the simple word of encouragement spoken in passing, and faithfulness even when it is unpopular, all please the Father.
A couple who leads an intercessory prayer group asked me to write out this story as I remember it. I read it many years ago. I believe it was in a book written by Gene Edwards, but I was unable to confirm that.
*If anyone knows the exact source, please leave a comment so I can give proper credit.