Thursday, March 24, 2016

"I'm Praying For You..."

In my culture of the southeastern United States, we hear that phrase a lot.  "I'm praying for you".  Sometimes when I hear someone say that I want to roll my eyes; it sounds like something someone is saying just to have something to say.  Sometimes I want to say, "Thank you, but to whom are you praying?".  Sometimes that statement pierces my heart and brings great comfort or conviction.

A number of years ago my oldest brother got to be friends with a man who is a Messianic Rabbi.  This man knew of the health struggles my middle brother and I were having.  He prayed over us faithfully and regularly.  When he went to Jerusalem he took our names with him and placed them in the Wailing Wall.  I know that prayers said there are no more or less effective than prayers said in my kitchen, but there is something special about the fact that he cared enough to do that.

In the week after I was confined to a wheelchair for the first time, I received a personal letter from Joni Eareckson Tada.  It was a great comfort to me to receive this, and to have her tell me that she was praying for me.

When I talk with my Dad, he always reminds me in the conversation that he is praying for me, and Mr. Marvelous, and Junior every single day.  That makes my heart sing.  That's my Daddy and he is praying for me!

What would you think if you got a letter in the mail today from Franklin Graham telling you that he was praying for you?  I imagine that you would be a little overwhelmed to know that he was taking time to think of you and to ask God to provide for your spiritual, mental, and physical needs. 

Today is Maundy Thursday.  It is the day when we celebrate Jesus' last supper with His disciples.  It was His last night before the crucifixion.  After they celebrated Passover together, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus went aside from His disciples, His closest friends, because He needed some time alone with the Father.  We don't have to imagine that conversation that they had together, because the Bible records it for us in John 17.  He prayed earnestly and fervently for His disciples.  He prayed that they would be protected.  He prayed that they would be have the fullness of His joy.  He asked that they would be sanctified in the truth of God's word.  Then, in the middle of this prayer, He says this:

 I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me
through their word,
that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me,
and I in You,
that they may also be in us,
so that the world might believe that you have sent Me. 
John 17:20-21      (emphasis mine)

Jesus did not just pray for His eleven disciples.  He prayed for you.  He prayed for me.  If we are surrendered to Him, this prayer was prayed for you.  

As you go through the day today, however you may be celebrating the day, take a few minutes and read through John 17.  Read the words that Jesus prayed over you.  Whatever your circumstances today, read this knowing that Jesus Himself prayed for you!  


 As you read this and remember, may the comfort and peace of that knowledge
wrap around your heart and fill your soul to overflowing.

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