They came forward slowly at first and then almost eagerly, anticipation in their eyes. On the platform lay carefully wrapped note cards of thoughts and comments by individuals who had been praying for them; people who did not even know them, praying God would use the this time of refreshment in their lives.
I couldn’t help noticing my own internal response to knowing that lying there somewhere in front of me was a packet of notes from people praying just for me and the work God would do in my heart over the next few days. What puzzled me was whether my tears were for the other participants who’s faces shown an almost desperate eagerness or my own desire to know how another was lifting me up. Regardless, the gesture touched something deep within me.
Prayer is powerful, not just in the way we join heaven’s agenda but also in the visceral effect it has on those knowing they are held before the throne – regardless the outcome of those prayers. This exercise underscored for me the importance of letting someone know that I am praying and how I am praying for them.
Some years ago, in my own prayer life, God walked me into a phase where He was not as interested in what I had to say so much as who I wished to say it about. You may think this a bit bizarre, but I know this because every time I opened my mouth it didn’t take long to realize I was not making much sense. My words were jumbled and try as I might, I simply could not say anything that sounded intelligible. When I ‘shut my mouth’ immediately images of my friends would come to mind. Strong, vivid images of friends at work or play, tending to the ordinary events of life flooded my mind. No words, only pictures. I soon realized I was being led into new arenas of prayer, of holding people before the throne.
Not long after getting used to this new twist in my prayer life, I mentioned to a friend that I was praying for her. Growing up in the Christian industry, she politely nodded and virtually blew off my comment. I went on to explain what I meant. When she realized I was not just reading her name off a grocery list of those I choose to ‘pray‘ for but was actually lingering over her life and story in images, she began to cry. No one had ever prayed for her like that. No one that she knew of lingered over her story before the throne.
I want to know someone is praying… for me. What I think I want to know more is whether they actually linger over my life in prayer. What are they praying? Do they know me well enough to even speak on my behalf? What about me do they actually know that guides the words and/or images they lift before the Lord?
Someone is praying. That’s good. But we all need to know someone is truly praying for us.