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Prayer Works Even from "Far Away"

Peter Charpentier, a minister in Hammond, Louisiana, shares a story of how God used his youngest son to teach him a valuable lesson about prayer and the nature of God's presence:

One day I was leaving for work when my wife said she wasn't feeling well. After quizzing her for a moment to find out what was wrong, I decided I should take a personal day. But she insisted everything was fine and told me to go ahead with my plans.
As I was about to leave the house, I thought, Now is an excellent time to make sure my nine-year-old son knows how to call me in case of an emergency. So I asked him to come to our bedroom where I was making the bed. I sat him down and walked him through the simple process of calling my cell phone. To ensure he had retained the lesson and wouldn't have any trouble later on, I had him give it a try right there on the spot. I watched him dial my number from our home phone, my cell rang, I answered, and for just a minute or so, we had a nice, little conversation standing ten feet from one another in the same room.

After we wrapped up the conversation, my son left the room. Okay, I thought. If there's a problem while I'm gone, the little man-of-the-house can reach me. About three minutes later, my cell vibrated again, and when I glanced to check who it was that was calling, I saw my home phone number. Still standing in the bedroom, I answered the phone with a smile.


"Hey, Dad," came the familiar voice. "I just wanted to call from the living room to make sure this phone works from far way!"

I chuckled and shared with my son that our house phone works very well. I told him that he could even call China from our phone if he wanted to—before making it immediately clear that he shouldn't call China!

The moment has since served as a gentle reminder for me about a simple truth we find in Scripture. When I walk through a valley, I sometimes wonder if God hears me. I feel "far away" from him. The same fear is stirred when I stray from God. I'm afraid he can't hear me because I've drifted too far. But I know prayer works even from "far away," because God always has his eyes on me no matter where I go. The Psalmist puts it this way: "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar." (Psalm 139:2) It really doesn't matter where I go. Prayer works even from "far away."

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