Ephesians 1:16- “Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers”
As I was reading in Ephesians a couple of nights ago, this verse seemed to leap off the page, and I knew I would blog about it this week.
As I was preparing for my day, and thinking about this verse, a song from many years ago came to mind:
“Somebody prayed for me! Had me on their mind! Took some time to pray for me! I’m so glad they prayed! I’m so glad they prayed! I’m so glad they prayed for me!”
Everyone loves it when they hear the words, “You were on my mind today and I prayed for you!” I know, because I have said the words often enough and seen the response; and I have also been the hearer of those words and felt such a sense of encouragement to know that the Father laid me on someone’s heart and they prayed for me.
Paul, to me, was such a powerful witness of the Lord Jesus! He walked in incredible wisdom, started churches, trained ministers, spread the gospel, and walked in the supernatural anointing of God, and yet, he took time to pray for others. Regularly!
There was a time in my life when people would ask me to pray for them and I would respond to them that I would, and then I would forget. But one day the Holy Spirit convicted me and I learned to stop and pray immediately, just so I could say that I did. Some times, even now, I am able to only give a short prayer because of when I hear something, but my heart is always to pray!
As I have matured in Christ, and have grown in leadership responsibilities in ministry, I find that people come to my heart, or situations come to my ears and I have a burden to pray. Those are times I pray longer and more consistently. And of course, to see those prayers answered and to see those victories won are a true blessing.
But Paul didn’t wait for situations to come, for needs to be presented to him, for prayer requests. No! Paul said that his prayers were motivated because he heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for the saints and therefore, he continuously prayed for them.
Now, I am not there! In my prayer time, I admit that different pastors, ministers, leaders, friends, family members, co-workers, etc.; come to my mind and I pray for them. But I can’t say with fidelity that they are always in my prayers.
As I meditate on this scripture it causes me to realize that if this was true of Paul, and he was super busy with all that he writes about, then it can become true about me. I can get to the point where I pray for the members of our congregation all the time, where I pray for my colleagues all the time, where I pray for my students all the time, where I pray for pastors, ministers, and church leaders all the time. And I can’t remember the last time I prayed for my followers! Shame on me! But again, I’m not there, yet! Of course, I am not able to say about all these people on my list that I have heard great things about their faith in the Lord Jesus or their love for all the saints, but…!
Do I have to pray for the same people all the time when I pray? Do you? No! But it’s a goal for my prayer life to take time to pray regularly for others as I pray regularly for myself and my family. In this life, we all have tribulations (Jesus said so) and I have lived long enough to know it’s true. Knowing this, I find the thought that someone else has determined to keep me lifted in their prayers on a regular basis is encouraging and comforting! So I am determined to be used of God to return that encouragement!
When was the last time you stopped what you were doing and prayed for someone other than you and your family? When was the last time you prayed for your pastor, your church congregation, your co-workers, or even your neighbors? If you can’t say it’s happened in the last week, take some time today and pray for them! Then tomorrow you can walk up to someone and say, “I had you on my mind, so I took some time to pray for you,” and watch them be encouraged by it! Then, feel that sense of being an encouragement. It will keep you praying! I am going to go and follow my own advice! I’ll meet you in the throne room of heaven as we pray for one another! Wonderful Jesus!