A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small desert island. The two survivors, Bob and Joe, who were old friends, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God.
However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing Bob prayed for was food. The next morning, he saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the island, and he was able to eat its fruit. Joe’s parcel of land remained barren. After a week, Bob was lonely and decided to pray for a wife.
The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the island. On the other side of the island, nobody arrived. Soon Bob prayed for a house, clothes, and more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, Joe still had nothing.
Finally, Bob prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. He boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave Joe on the island.
He decided that Joe was unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, Bob heard a Voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your friend on the island?”
“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” Bob answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”
“You are mistaken!” the Voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”
“Tell me,” Bob asked the Voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”
“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”
For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us. My prayer for you today is that all your prayers are answered.