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Thoughts Into Prayers

May 17, 2003 05:43 PM EDT

Philippians 1:3-11 (NRSV)



I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.




Paul wrote, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone."


- 1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)




HE came to our church only occasionally, and I did not know him well. However, I did know he had been a missionary in earlier days and that his first wife and children had been killed in a plane crash. On this particular Sunday, I looked at him and wondered if he still had open wounds or unhealed memories from that tragic loss. Later during the church service, he stood up to share the story of his family's accident. Choking back tears, he said that this Sunday was the anniversary of their deaths and that losing them was still a painful memory for him.



I pondered this sequence of events. Was it a coincidence that I had thought of his loss before I knew he was still suffering? Or had God given me thoughts about his family's tragedy for a reason? I decided then that God had indeed been nudging me to pray.



It was a powerful lesson, and now I intercede for people when they come to mind. I pray that God will be with them to meet their needs, draw them close, and show them love. I am convinced that God brings specific people to mind because I am meant to pray for them.



Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide us today to pray for someone who needs encouragement. Teach us that thoughts of those in need are a call to pray for them. Amen.



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:


For whom is God prompting me to pray?



PRAYER FOCUS:


The person(s) who came to mind as you read this

By Sandi Somers (Alberta, Canada)