Do you ever feel led to pray for other people? Perhaps someone comes to mind out of the blue and you just know that you are to pray for him or her. This happens to me every now and again and I have to admit the first thought that comes to mind is this, “Lord, if you know what they need then why are you asking me to pray for them? Why not just take care of the situation and let me get back to this very important television show I’m watching?”
In May I had the opportunity to speak at the local National Day of Prayer breakfast and since I planned to speak on prayer, I decided I should think on this matter a little bit longer. Here’s what I came up with.
When God nudges us to pray for someone he is basically inviting us, in that moment, to be a part of the miracle he’s about to pull off. It may not seem like a miracle at the time, but trust me; something miraculous is going to happen.
In the past couple of years when someone comes to mind out of the blue, I’ve just figured that it’s God putting them on my heart so I can pray for them. And once I do I usually, if it’s possible, send them an email or text message letting them know I have prayed on their behalf. Nine times out of ten I’ll get a message back from the person saying that they had been going through a rough time, and it always blows my mind. To be honest I’m still, after over 40 years as a Christian, a little bit surprised when I realize that God has spoken to me. So, when someone tells me that they really needed my prayers that day I think to myself, “Whoa, I really DID hear from God.” That alone seems like a miracle to me.
There have been days when I’ve received a similar message myself; one where someone tells me they are praying for me. I know what it feels like to receive to them at just the right moment. In fact, that may be the very miracle I spoke about earlier. Because, you see, when I get a random message from a friend telling me she (or he) prayed for me, it’s like getting a little kiss from God. Knowing full well that it was him that put me on that person’s mind makes it feel like he’s saying to me, “You see Nancy, I know what you’re going through. I haven’t forgotten you. I love you.” The fact that God uses us, ordinary people, to send his love to others is amazing.
But sometimes God also sends us reminders that he is praying for us. That seems odd doesn’t it, God himself praying for us? But that’s what the Bible tells us in Romans 8:27, “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” If it’s true that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, and I believe it is, then essentially that’s what this verse is saying – God is praying for us.
When my husband, John, was having a stem cell transplant to treat his blood cancer there were some difficult days; on some of those days I struggled to pray. It wasn’t because I was angry with God or didn’t believe it would make a difference, I was just so very tired that I didn’t know where to begin. But it was on those days when I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “It’s okay, Nancy, I’m praying for you and John. I’ve got your back.” THAT is how good our God is!
To be honest, it’s still a mystery to me how intercessory prayer works. God ALWAYS knows what is going on so he doesn’t really need me to explain the situation to him. And, I don’t think God says, “Well, since you had 105 people praying for you, I’m going to heal you. If you’d only had 88 people praying that wouldn’t have been enough to sway me.” It would be silly to believe that. All I know is it DOES make a difference when we pray for each other. And it’s what God asks of us. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Miracles are happening every day in ways we can’t possibly fathom. I don’t know about you, but if God wants to include me in that miracle, I’m game. I love a good miracle story, don’t you? How can I pray for you today?
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.