What if every time you wished something for someone else, the only way that they could have it would be if you were willing to give it up yourself and exchange positions with them?
Imagine...your mother has cancer and you wish her healed, but the only way for her to be healed is for you to take on the cancer yourself.
Imagine...your friend is broke and going through a hard time and you wish that she didn't have to go through that; but in order for your wish to be granted, your life would have to turn into what hers once was.
Take it deeper
Imagine...you read of an eight year old girl being forced to work as a sex slave in India; you wish that these things didn't happen, you pray for her release, but for her to be freed you would have to take her place.
Imagine if this was the condition for our prayers; how much would our prayers be affected? Would we pray less? Would we still pray the same things?
I think of all the times that, in some way, I can trade places with the targets of my prayers by joining them and really being there with them through whatever they are going through. I can give out of the abundance and blessings I have received to help my friends in need. I may not be able to take the sickness out of one body and transfer it to mine, but I can use what strength and health I have to serve the weak and help fight for their healing.
We often think of the cost but rarely does cost come into play when it's someone we love. Why? Because they are priceless to us; people are irreplaceable. Right? Don't you think that's how the Father feels about each one of His children? Isn't that why He came and traded places with us and took on the penalty of sin for us so that we could have something better?
I should pray with more conviction for my actions rather than total reliance on divine intervention; what if divine intervention lies with me? I should see every person in need as I see those I love most; I should see them as the Father sees them. I should be willing and open to be people's answer to prayer. I should be more available for God to use me as an answer. I should give more than pity and empathetic prayers, I should go to them as He came to me.