Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog: I'll Pray For You

From God is in the Compost Pile and other ordinary places (source link here)

Night and day I mention you in my prayers. I am always grateful for you, as I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience. 2 Timothy 1:3 CEV

“I’ll pray for you.” Those four words spill from our lips as easy as “Have a nice day.” I’ve been guilty of it, and maybe you are, too. We tell someone, “I’ll pray for you.” Then we offer a quick prayer and move on.

The words I’ll pray for you took on new meaning for me after my mother died. Until then, I don’t think I fully appreciated the awesome power of ongoing intercessory prayer.

For as long as I can remember, every afternoon Mom would retreat to her recliner in the living room and spend time reading her Bible. Afterward, she’d lean back in the chair and close her eyes. She’d stay that way for a while, and I always thought she was napping. In fact, as a young adult I sometimes resented Mom for taking her daily catnap while I, and the rest of the world, worked. What I didn’t realize back then was that Mom was silently praying. Every single day, she made time to pray for others. When my mother said, “I’ll pray for you,” it was a promise. Those words didn’t mean I’ll pray for you once, they meant I’ll pray you through.

Mom prayed me through life. She prayed me through my tests in college, tough decisions, job interviews, health issues, rocky relationships. As I matured, I felt Mom’s prayers, and I counted on them. I knew that at the precise moment I needed prayer, Mom was in her recliner, eyes shut, deep in intercession for me. When she died, it left a gaping hole in my heart. My gentle mother, my prayer warrior, was gone. Christian friends have told me that now she’s an angel in heaven, praying for me there. Still, I miss being able to call my mother, ask for prayer and have her say to me, “Don’t worry, Honey. I’ll pray you through.” I miss knowing that without a doubt someone is fervently praying for me.

Today, I’m careful when I say, “I’ll pray for you.” I’ve learned that those four words are a sacred promise, not only to the person being prayed for, but also to God. I try to follow my mother’s example. Every night I make time to pray. I sit in my chair in my own living room, shut my eyes, and quietly intercede, day after day lifting the promise of my prayers to God. These prayers, I’ve discovered, create a spiritual bond not only between me and the people I know, but also with people whom I’ve never met: a young man injured in a snowboarding accident, a woman horribly scarred from an encounter with a wild animal, an Internet friend whose dad is battling cancer. It’s that bond formed through prayer that connects we Christians to God’s love, and it’s intercessory prayer that gets us through the scraps of darkness in our lives.

If I say, “I’ll pray for you,” I promise that I will, and I hope that you will find peace knowing that someone is praying you through.

Please let me know -- how can I pray for you?

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