Praying for Others
“I pray these things while I’m still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have.” (John 17:13 GW)
Ramblings from Evan’s dad – Phil Downer is a dear friend and mentor that Kris and I have known since our single days at First Baptist Atlanta. He was a successful attorney, who God called into full time ministry. Over the years between face to face meetings, we have caught up over the phone. As we wrap up Phil always asks me if I have time to pray. The first time he did that, he caught me by surprise. After a while, I realized it was priority to him, and, over time, it became important to me.
Dr. Jim in his weekly meetings with me would always take time (even if he was being called back to the hospital) to pray with me and for me. Prayer was a priority to him. Over time he helped make it a priority to me, too.
In Ephesians 6:10-17, we are taught by Paul not to go into this “spiritual battle” ill prepared. He teaches us to put on the whole armor of God. In fact, I was even taught to memorize each piece of the armor. One day I was talking about it with Dr. Jim. He pointed out to me that the Sword of the spirit was the only offensive weapon. But then he added something significant to me that I had missed out on up till then. He said “And“!…….“18 And, pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” In many ways he taught me that prayer can be the “reinforcements” we so desperately need!
Over 22 years ago I was driving in my car one day. A close friend, Gary Payton, came to mind. But, I focused on my next appointment and kept going. A little while later Gary came to mind again. I could not shake him. Finally (a little perturbed) I pulled over in a parking lot and prayed for Gary. He continued to be on my mind so I prayed for him a little more. You see Gary was in Borneo on a mission trip. My praying for Gary finally came to a close, and the rest of the day was uneventful.
A week later Gary got back home and told me an incredible story where he almost died on the trip. He recounted being struck with a weird illness while in the jungle. They were extremely concerned and with no hospital near by, laid hands on him and prayed. As we talked, I considered the different time zones, remembered my “interrupted” work day…and the hair on my neck stood up as I realized I had literally been praying for him at the same time. Wow! God is good!
How often has God laid someone on my mind who needed “prayer support”….and I was too busy?…
I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, as the world may believe You sent Me. (John 17:20-21)