Gratitude Day 451
Wed., May 6, 2020
Acts 1:14: They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
It’s Wednesday … and this means its prayer day.
One of the most powerful ways that we can pray is when we literally pray together with another person.
Like – we actually stop what we are doing with another person … and pray.
Now, as a pastor, I realize that this maybe more expected for me to do than for other people. I’ve had thousands, and I truly mean thousands, of opportunities to pray with and for other people.
In a hospital room.
While serving someone communion.
Before and/or after a meeting.
While visiting someone in their home.
As someone shares with me a challenging situation in their life.
Over the phone.
A typed prayer as part of an e-mail.
Yes, I am extremely comfortable praying with other people. But there was a time when this wasn’t the situation.
Early on as a pastor, I remember making those first pastoral calls. Someone was sick and I should visit them, like right away. I remember going to someone’s house and stopping to see them. I didn’t know them, other than their name. I spent time with them finding out what their situation was. And as it drew time for me to leave, I knew that I should pray for them. But how was I to do this?
I began by asking if I could pray for them. Never did someone say that I could not pray for them. Often, I would lay my hands-on top of their hands. (Yes, these were the days when we could still touch another person outside of our home.) And I prayed with them.
It wasn’t necessarily a long prayer. Actually, if it got too long, people became uncomfortable. Yet, I asked God to be with them, heal them in whatever ways was best, and comfort them. Most often, I closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
And that was it.
Just a minute or possibly two.
Helen was confined to her home. She didn’t get out very often and usually only to go to the doctor. Her husband had died years earlier and she didn’t have any children. A retired farmer, Helen and I had lots of things to chat about. We’d end our visit by joining in communion together, followed by me praying.
But then, the most wonderful thing always would happen. Helen would pray for me. Rick. Our family. My ministry. The church.
It was incredibly powerful to listen to this white-haired lady simply intervene for me. This was an important lesson when the pastor was ministered to.
Somewhere along the line, Helen had discovered the power of praying for and over other people. And I was a wonderful recipient of her prayers.
It made such an impression upon me that here, 10 years later, I’m still talking about Helen praying for me.
Folks – we often say, “I’m praying for you,” which is really nice of us to say. But can we take it one step further and actually pray with that person? Pause life for one or two minutes … and pray together with them? It is so powerful when you are prayed for and over. Please give this gift to another person.
It was near the end of Helen’s life. She was in a nursing home and hadn’t been out of bed in days. On an oxygen machine, Helen found it exceedingly difficult to speak more than a couple words at a time. Yet even in our last visit together, here’s Helen praying for me after I prayed for her.
I have experienced many touching moments while serving other people. But this is truly one of the most memorable moments that I have personally experienced: when a woman ready to achieve her eternal reward prayed for me.
May I encourage you to pray with and for someone else this week. You might be amazed how this feels for both you and the other person. Not quite sure what to pray with someone else? Simply pray the Lord’s Prayer together. It need not be any more complicated than this, folks.
For the gift of praying with and for another person, I am grateful.
Almighty God – thank you for the wonderful gift of prayer. Thank you for Jesus’ gift of teaching and witnessing prayer over and over. May I embrace prayer as a gift that I receive and one that I share. Amen.
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