By Dalton Roberts

My mother once said that when her mother died, her first thought was, “This is the first night of my life I will go to sleep without a mother’s prayers.” She said the Lord then spoke to her, “I have your mother’s prayers stored away in a golden vial and when you need one, I will pour it out on you.” Think what you will about my sanity but that makes me think we all have golden prayer vials in the Master’s house. You may think I am crazy, but would that be any harder for the Lord than making a possum or a porcupine?

One winter evening I was going home from the office. It was almost sundown. As I pulled onto the main road toward home I saw a young man across the traffic median walking the opposite way toward town. He was a mentally slow young man but worked all his life as a sack boy and everyone loved him. His mother went to our church and often praised God for sending the boy to her and requested prayer for him. She knew he was slow but she said she had enough prayers stored up to keep him safe and secure the rest of his life.

As I pulled onto the highway going the opposite direction from the way he was walking, a voice spoke to me so strongly it was almost audible, “Go answer one of the stored-up prayers of that boy’s mother and take him wherever he is going. It’s too cold for him to be alone and walking.” I found a place to turn around and went back to pick him up. He recognized me and when he got in the car, I asked where he was walking.

“To the food stamp office,” he answered.

I said, “That’s at least five miles from here. How often do you walk it?”

“Every week,” he answered.

I then asked where he lived and realized that his destination was at least 10 miles from where he lived. He had already walked 5 miles and had 5 miles to go on this winter night. I took him to get his food stamps and then took him home. It felt so good to answer one of his mother’s 25 year old prayers.

I started hunting the Bible verse mother was speaking of when she said our prayers are bottled up in heaven and found it in Revelation 5:8 where it speaks of twenty elders falling down before the Lamb, “having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odors (fragrances), which are the prayers of the saints.” I learned several spiritual truths from these verses and from this experience. I learned that when we pray for someone, our prayers will follow them and will be available when they most need them. More importantly, I learned that our prayers are forever and they are a sweet fragrance to God.

I have a new respect for praying. It’s not just something we robotically do for ourselves or others. It’s something we methodically and knowingly do to permanently minister to those we know and love.

Do not be discouraged when you pray for someone and you think nothing happens. You have placed a permanent blessing upon them. Your prayers are in God’s vials to minister to them the rest of their lives.

Truly, prayers are forever.