1 Timothy 2:1&3 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men….This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour…”
Fifteen years ago upon becoming a pastor’s wife, I determined that the prayer requests coming in from our parishioners were far more numerous than my mind could possibly keep in order and maintain.
An avid reader, I was shopping in a book store, and I found an entire section of journals. Some of those blank page journals were very attractive to me. One of my favorites was a red leather journal with the antiqued paper that had the burned look to the edges. Oh so lovely. I determined that I had to have one, but was unsure of exactly how I would use it. It stayed in my nightstand for quite some time.
One evening, when a prayer request came to my attention, I was trying to find something on which to write. I pulled open that drawer and saw the journal. Inspired, I knew that my journal should be used for the prayers of God’s beautiful people. Where I could hold them in my hands, lift them up to God and pray vigilantly for the good, the bad, and the hurt – to ask for God’s answers.
A couple years ago, a wonderful seminary student came through the Sunday receiving line after church services. He was hurting; he had received a blow in his personal life and reached out, asking for prayer. I told him I would immediately begin praying for him and would add him to my personal prayer journal. He asked about it, and I explained to him what I did. He was extremely grateful to know that I was sincere when I said that I would pray for him.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
How often do we tell someone that we will pray for them and promptly forget to do so? It can become routine to tell someone “I’ll pray for you.” It’s almost an off-the-cuff response by Christians because, well let’s face it, it’s easy and who’s going to know if you actually prayed? But let me tell you, people know a sincere heart and attitude, and they also know those that are just giving lip-service.
This past Sunday, another parishioner came through our receiving line after services. Sarah gave me the biggest hug. She proceeded to tell me that when she heard that I had been experiencing severe back trouble the week before and was incapacitated, she said: “I prayed for you, I prayed hard for you”. Her sincerity was so apparent, I knew without a doubt that she indeed did pray hard for me.
Several prayer journals later, I have a new favorite journal. In December 2012, one of my favorite friends gave me a LIFE journal that she had made especially for each member of our women’s Bible study group. Our circle is named LIFE (Living in Faith Everyday). Since December 2012, I have been using this journal for prayer offerings to the Lord.
Last night a dear friend asked me to pray for her and her family due to some employment issues that have been brewing. They are being affected emotionally and spiritually, and they want God’s intervention. I was more than happy to add them to my prayer journal. I thank God that He has given me the will and the desire to go to Him in prayer for the people in my life that ask me. I pray also that they will know for certain that I will lift them up to our awesome God. For we can rest in the promise that God grants us about our prayers -
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”