I am seeing again how prayer is one of the best ways to let someone know you care about them. I know in the past when I’ve been going through a tough time, just knowing someone is praying for me makes a big difference. Sometimes, I’ve felt peace during a difficult day and later found out someone was praying for me at that time, which is always wonderful to realize!
I was thinking about this a little yesterday. We had school canceled here in the Twin Cities again because of the cold (-19 F) and wind chill, and I had a student who had told me they might not be in school anyway because of a parent’s medical issues. I made sure to pray for the student and family, and today in school I let the student know I’d prayed. I have no idea whether the student even cared, or if the day had been as scary for the family as anticipated, but I found myself with a feeling of love for the student as a result of knowing I had prayed for them and that God had answered.
Often, in our spread-out world, friends and family are so far away that prayer is the only thing you can do for a situation, barring spending hours on the phone or a plane. Sometimes it feels like it’s a last-ditch, feeble effort, but I believe that if we put effort and time into praying that it is so much more than that. The Bible is full of stories, as is history, of times when a believer prayed, not just an off-the-cuff prayer, but a heart-felt, faith-filled prayer, and God answered in such an outpouring of mercy and blessings.
Of course, any time spent in prayer changes the person praying as well. I have spent extra time praying for others in times past, and I always felt like a better person — more peaceful, more loving, more interested in others — because of the time I spent praying.
It’s like the parenting advice to spend time with your children instead of spending lots of money on them. When someone says they will pray for you, they are committing time and energy to you at some point when you aren’t around to remind them of your need. They are promising to remember that you need God’s help and “go boldly before the throne” on your behalf. It’s one of the best gifts you can give someone, one of the most loving things you can do, to place someone gently, but fervently, into God’s hands and ask for His blessing.
May we remember to pray more for others in our lives.