“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)
A ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two survivors were able to make it to the shore of a small deserted island. They agreed they had no recourse but to pray to God. However, they were divided as to their religious traditions and argued whose prayer would be more effectual. They agreed finally to divide the island between them and stay each to his own side of the island.
The first thing prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the island, and thus he ate. The other man’s side of the island remained barren, & thus he remained hungry. After a few days, the first man became lonely so he prayed for a wife. The next day another ship wrecked and the lone survivor, a woman swam up on his side of the island. The other man remained alone. Next, the first man prayed for a house, clothes and more food. The next day all these miraculously appeared. However, the other man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for rescue for he and his wife. In the morning, there was a ship docked on his side of the island. He and his wife boarded & left the other man behind. As the ship was pulling away from the island a voice from heaven boomed out, “Why are you leaving that other man behind?” The first man replied, “Well, Lord, I figured the blessings I prayed for were mine, and since apparently none of his prayers were answered he mustn’t be worthy.” The Lord rebuked him saying, “Oh my son you are so mistaken, for you see he only had one prayer, one prayer that explains the richness of blessings you have received, you owe him everything.” “Tell me”, the man asked, “what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”
The Lord replied, “He prayed for you.”