Presidential Update

Nothing quite compares to it. Each prayer is as unique as the person who offers it. Prayers come in solos and concerts—soft and gentle, yet wielding power far beyond their decibel.

I love hearing God’s people pray. I love hearing you pray. This month, I gathered with three prayer groups in Michigan. Each one meets regularly to hear an update on some part of our work and pray over it. They pray: some by reading written prayers aloud to God like letters, some with the passion of dear friends intimately familiar with the people they are praying for, but all gather with familiarity before the throne of God.

What do these prayers do? Where do they go?

The Apostle John saw a vision of what heaven looks like when God’s people pray:

“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.” (Revelation 8:3-4)
What happens next in this biblical vision? God acts. There is rumbling thunder and lightning and an earthquake. This graphic picture tells the story of what prayer looks like from a heavenly perspective.

This week, I simply want to thank you for your prayers. I have been connected to Words of Hope for two decades—as a board member, as a volunteer, and now as the president. I have seen God’s answers to your prayers: lost children returned to faith, persecuted Christians set free, new churches planted in majority Muslim cities, prisoners receiving hope from devotionals.

I want to invite you to continue praying. Your prayers matter. God hears them. God sees them as incense wafting before his altar. And God acts.

Thanks be to God!

Jon Opgenorth
President, Words of Hope