Do my prayers for complete strangers really make any difference?

That question has been on my mind this week. I’ve always believed that they could, but I guess I never really stopped to think about why.

When my heart breaks for the family of a local 4 year old boy who was killed in a tragic car accident here last week, will my prayers make a difference? Do my prayers for people caught up in the political upheaval in Ukraine and Venezuela really do any good? What about when someone on Facebook shares a request for prayer for someone I’ve never met and will likely never meet?

Does my intercession for something or someone that I really know very little about even mean anything?

It does. And I went looking for scripture this morning to back that up.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them…This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4 NLT)

When I don’t know the details about a situation, I can still bring it before the Lord, knowing that He is all-knowing and all-wise. When I don’t know the person or the situation or the state of their hearts, I can still intercede and ask that they come to an understanding of the truth of God’s presence and power and peace in the middle of their crisis or need or grief.

I don’t know how it all works, but God is pleased when we intercede on behalf of those we don’t know. And that’s good.

Because sometimes, that is all we can do.

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9-10

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Colossians 1:9