THE CORK AND THE STEEL BAR

Activated - - NEWS - Sa­muel Keat­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Ed­i­tor

The Bible tells us that “the prayer of a right­eous per­son is pow­er­ful and ef­fec­tive.” But most of us

1 have prob­a­bly won­dered if our pray­ers re­ally make a dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially if we’ve been pray­ing long and hard for a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion but haven’t seen the de­sired re­sult. When putting to­gether this is­sue, I came across the fol­low­ing il­lus­tra­tion: In a fac­tory, an elon­gated steel bar weigh­ing 500 lb. (about 225 kg) was sus­pended by a chain. Near it‚ an av­er­age-size cork was sus­pended by a silk thread. “When we come back to this spot later,” a tour guide told a group of sight­seers, “you will see some­thing that is seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble. This cork will have set this steel bar in mo­tion.”

The guide set in mo­tion a mech­a­nism whereby the cork tapped gen­tly and re­peat­edly against the steel bar, which re­mained mo­tion­less. The vis­i­tors watched for a minute or two as the cork struck the iron bar with pen­du­lum­like reg­u­lar­ity, then they moved on. Ten min­utes later, the bar was vi­brat­ing slightly, and when the tour group re­turned at the end of an hour, the heavy bar was swing­ing like the pen­du­lum of a clock.

So the next time you feel your pray­ers aren’t even hav­ing a feather’s weight of ef­fect, re­mem­ber the cork. Of­ten, peo­ple and sit­u­a­tions don’t change overnight, even af­ter we’ve prayed. But ev­ery prayer is like another tap of the cork against the steel bar. It may not ap­pear to make an im­me­di­ate dif­fer­ence, but over time we will see how God has worked in an­swer to our pray­ers.

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