When my seven-week-old twin boys lay in hospital with meningitis, I depended on many things.
I counted on the machines to beep rhythmically and tell me their hearts were still beating. I relied on the drips to administer the antibiotics. I trusted the doctors’ to give the best care, and I banked on a nurse to calm their fraught little bodies to sleep. Most of all, I depended on family and friends, and even strangers, to appeal to God to bring them through.
We rely on other people’s prayers.
Which leads me to ask, who prays for you and who do you pray for, not just in a crisis but also on a regular basis?
We have a responsibility to bring other people to God in prayer. We need to make a commitment to lift them up before our Father. Just like people petitioned Jesus on behalf of the family and friends.
Prayer makes miracles happen.
Daughters were brought back to life. Friends walked again. Sicknesses disappeared. Lives were made whole.
Prayer for others makes a difference.
When my grandmother passed away, my mother and aunt went into a panic. “Whose going to pray for us now?” They asked. You see, my grandmother had prayed faithfully for her family, for friends, and for missionaries.
During my summer school vacations, I would stay with my grandparents and I noticed their prayer life. Each evening, before bed, my granddad sat in his big armchair by the fireplace. My grandma would join him, sitting on the other side. She would bring steaming cups of cocoa and two cookies each. Biscuits, we call them in England.
Then she took out her Bible and a devotional, and she would read the entry for the day. My grandfather would listen, swinging his foot and nodding his head. My mind would wander, but I would watch and learn.
Then they would pray out loud. Sometimes they would pray for me, even as I sat there. Always, they would pray for a family member. Next, they would remember those who served overseas. My grandmother would open a booklet, Echos of Service, and she would pray for a missionary, some stranger I had never heard of in a faraway land I probably would never visit.
Faithfulness in praying for others is ingrained in my mind. Faithfulness in praying for others should be well established in our lives.
With the New Year still fresh, who are you going to pray for this year? Make a list—one or two persons for each day of the month. Put it somewhere you won’t forget; where you will see it every day. Pray in your bathroom when you get ready in the morning, or by the kitchen sink. And pray faithfully.
Heavenly Father, at the beginning of this New Year I want to be responsible for bringing my family and friends before you. Just as people brought children to Jesus, I bring _____________ to you for your blessing. Just as friends and family brought those who were sick to Jesus, I bring __________________ to you for your healing. Just as people were excited about meeting Jesus and told others about him, help me to share the good news about Christ with ________________. Amen.