Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tell people you are praying for them

The other day I had the opportunity to talk with another pastor I hadn't talked to in a long time. In fact, I don't really ever remember meeting him. He said he met me, so I just agreed. I could be, and often am, wrong.

He recounted, "I remembered you speaking before presbytery and explaining that Hope Presbyterian couldn't afford to keep you on any longer. And so I spent some time in the back by myself praying for you. To see where you are is an answer to my prayers!"

I remember that day very well. It was kind of a sad day. But the Lord soon turned sadness into joy as I very soon received a call from Redeemer. 

This conversation taught, or at least reinforced to me a few things about prayer.

1.) Prayer is a way to play a part in someone's life 
For him to hear that I was enjoying my call and experience at Redeemer was a blessing to his soul. Somehow he played a part. Even though I didn't know him at all, he still played a part. How cool is prayer? It allows us to partner with other people whom we may not know well or at all.

2.) You should tell people you're praying for them. You really should. When I heard that this lad broke away from the "business" of the meeting and personally prayed for me, I was astounded. I was moved. Someone really took the time to do this for me? Wow. It showed love and really encouraged me. I like to know that people are praying for me. I'm probably not alone in this. 

Sometimes I think we're afraid to tell people we're praying for them because we would rather remain anonymous. Sometimes me might be afraid because we don't want to come off as prideful. If that's the case, then confess the pride, but don't let that stop you from encouraging your brother and sister in the faith who may really need encouragement that day. Be aware of false humility that keeps us from encouraging others and receiving encouragement. 

We have ample scriptural warrant to tell others we are praying. Paul regularly tells his churches that HE (Col 1:3, Phil 1:3) and OTHERS (Col 4:12) are praying. Don't worry about "sounding" prideful. He didn't.

When you're praying for someone, do yourself and them a favor: tell them. You and they will be glad you did. 

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