“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.” – Philemon 1:4
Several years ago as I dropped off my son to a prospective high school for a day of “shadowing”, I grabbed a cup of coffee and went home. As I got out of the car, I saw one of the neighbors I’ve been praying for. He is on my “twelve most wanted” list. And here's what happens:
I walk towards my front door and whisper another prayer for him. Then, that little bookmark in my heart surfaces. It’s that sense that God is getting ready to tell me to do something that will interrupt my current agenda. I hear the still small voice, “tell him that you are praying for him.” I call his name, “Johnny!” (Not his real name.) He does not hear me. “Ok”, I say silently in my heart, but not consciously, “Well I tried to call him. He did not answer, so I’ll just go inside.”
But, I hear the still small voice again, this time a little louder: “tell him that you are praying for him.” At this point, it clearly is God talking, and to negotiate for my agenda is rebellion. So, I call him again. “Johnny!” He hears and I walk over to greet him. The sun is shining directly in his face, so I can see him very clearly and see the emotion in his eyes. I say, ” I have been praying for you …” And, it was as if someone gave him some great news. He eyes lit up with the zeal of a child who has been accepted by his peers, and he said: “thank you.”
For the rest of the day, this man will have the reality of God’s Spirit at work in his heart, not only because someone is praying for him, but also because he is now aware that God is mindful of him. There is something about praying for people. And, there is something about listening to the Holy Spirit when He tells you to let someone know that you are praying for them.
Paul reminded others that he was praying for them. (Ephesians 1:16; Philemon 1:4) There is a sense that you are not alone, that God is at work in your life, when you know that others are praying for you.
Let us not only pray for others, but also let them know we are doing it. There is a light in their eyes that God wants to bring forth so that they can see the glorious gospel and unconditional love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
Pray for others today. And, look across your desk or across the room to greet someone with these five powerful words: “I am praying for you!”