One of Jesus' first followers was John.  He wrote a short letter to the early church where he charged the new Christian community to live with Jesus in the reality of the power that he offered.  He was also extremely confident that Jesus would hear us.  The remarkable thing is what he asks us to do with that.

John felt that if Jesus is actually able to grant us what we ask, then why not pray for those who are doing evil?  If we do, John says, we will bring life to those people.  It is remarkable to think that my prayers will cause God to give a person life.

If we look around ourselves, we will find a myriad of ways in which people are doing things we know are wrong.  It can be easy to react in all sorts of ways:  confrontation, anger, complacency, etc.  Instead, we can ask God to give them life and they will be changed.  It sounds too simple and too good to be true.

If we live as if this physical world is all there is, then we rob ourselves of the opportunity to see God work.  God is active and able to work.  If we look beyond the physical, we can see him actively engaged, and it will change our behavior.  God is present, and a simple request can have lasting consequences for good.