Perhaps a brother in Christ may approach us on some street of gold so pure that it is transparent. "You don't know me," he may say, "but I know you. Back in July 2009 of our earthly sojourn, I was at the end of my ability to go on. I was ready to forfeit God's gift of life, and was a moment away from doing so.
But then God heard a prayer. It was yours, my brother, it was that prayer you prayed for others who were hurting as you were hurting. You didn't know who they might be, and you said so to God. You nevertheless asked Him to help and comfort not yourself, but somebody else.
Our Father heard you, my brother, and instantaneously dispatched an angel to stay my hand. He did, and I somehow found a way to go on. And then, two weeks later, I became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and received eternal life. So, my brother, I am here because of Him. God heard your prayer offered from your own trial, and so, from the bottom of my redeemed heart, thank you. Thank you so very much."
The love of Christ dwelling within our born again hearts beckons us to see our sorrows as opportunity for ministering blessing to others. Our very faith began in such beauty and sublime determination by our Lord to "give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). He died that we might live, and the same spiritual dynamic now governs our own lives. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). We are to see our losses as altars of prayer whereby we ask God to provide the same comfort we are receiving to others who hurt as we are hurting (II Corinthians 1:3). "So then death worketh in us, but life in you" declared the Apostle Paul, and such ministry is now ours to fulfill from the crosses God determines or allows in our lives. We can only imagine how readily and powerfully God moves in answering prayers offered from our altars of sorrow (II Corinthians 4:12).
Somewhere, some place, somebody is hurting just now in a way very familiar to our particular pains. The Spirit of Christ is moving within us to guard against our sinking into the black hole of self absorption. He is calling us to send forth earnest requests to help those who share our difficulties. Heaven alone will reveal our Heavenly Father's answers to such prayers motivated and enabled by the love of His Son... "God heard a prayer."
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you."
(II Corinthians 4:8-12)
"The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends."