Friends, keep up your prayers for us.
(1 Thessalonians 5:25, The Message)
I've been to the doctor over the last year and a half for a particular issue. During that time, many fine men and women have expressed their concern, and they have told me that they are praying for me. I believe them. One particular woman saw me several months ago before the 11AM service and pulled me aside. She said to me that she, too, was praying for me. She then held up her left arm and with her right hand, she grabbed a hold of a bracelet on her wrist. "I am praying for you, John," she affirmed. "Every time I see this bracelet, I whisper a prayer for you." I loved hearing that, and I was (and I still am) encouraged by her words.
Over the next several months, she would catch my attention and point to her bracelet. No words needed to be exchanged, but she was most certainly communicating to me something that went beyond words. She was praying for me.
To be honest, I recently had not been thinking about her prayers or other's prayers -- until recently. I went to visit this same woman in the hospital the other day. I walked into her room and after exchanging pleasantries, I noticed two books on her bedside. One of the books was Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest. The other one was Jesus Is Calling. As I flipped through the pages of the latter book, I was honored and amazed about what I saw. As I flipped through the book, I saw my name written at the top of many of the pages. My name was written in her book! She was praying for me.
This is not the first time I had noticed my name scribbled in someone's prayer notebook. After my Dad had passed away several years ago, we started the process of going through his personal books and Bible. Dad was a godly man who spent a lot of time studying God's Word and praying for others. Like my prayer partner here in Columbus, he believed in the power of prayer. Tucked in the side compartment of his Bible cover were three little notebooks. As I flipped through the pages, I was amazed to see the names and prayers that were written. Dad truly prayed for those that he said he would pray for! The names that popped up frequently were the names of his wife and their children. Our names were written in his book! Even as Dad sits in the presence of God today, his prayers are still making a difference here on Earth.
I am convinced that prayer changes things. There is power to be tapped into as the Christian bends their knee in humility before the throne of God. It may not necessarily be your prayers; it may be the prayers of other. But make no mistake, there is power in prayer.
Why should we pray? I can't speak for others, but I pray because I trust in the character of God. God has proven Himself as faithful; God has proven Himself as loving; God has proven Himself as caring. Because of these characteristics and others, I pray. And what is more is that God continues to prove Himself today, at this very moment.