Last weekend I was invited to a friend’s birthday celebration. My usual choice for this particular friend would be a piece of jewelry but I wanted to do something different this year. Something meaningful and lasting and significant. Why not give her a book of prayers? Not just pre-printed- somebody- else- wrote- it kinds of prayers but prayers from my heart for her and her family members. “Yes!” I decided. “That’s exactly what I’ll do.”
So I stopped in at a local bookstore and selected a blank journal with a handsome cover, something that would look nice if she left it out on her bedside table. On the inside cover I wrote the words from I Chronicles 5:20, “He answered their prayers, because they trusted in Him.”
First I began with a prayer for my friend. I love her dearly and want all good things for her life so it was easy to let my pen race through the lines recording my heartfelt thoughts on her behalf, thanking God for her blessings and beseeching Him for her needs. Pouring my heart out to God and my ink onto the paper, the words came easily until seven pages later I arrived at “Amen”.
I followed with prayers for her husband, her son, her daughter, and lastly for the success of their business and ministry. I left blank pages between each of these prayers to allow her space to add prayers of her own in the days ahead.
At the end of the day, I think we ALL want to know that someone, somewhere is praying for us.
It has been my experience with prayer that when we pray for someone, it connects and bonds us to them in a unique and special way. For three years I have been a member of a group of grandmothers who meet to pray each week for each other’s children and grandchildren. And because we have prayed for individual and specific needs when we have a chance to meet these family members we feel as if we already know them, as though we are connected on a deep and unseen level somehow. It’s a strange and beautiful thing
At the end of the day, I think we ALL want to know that someone, somewhere is praying for us. I always said that I knew one of the things I was going to miss most when my mom died was her prayers. There’s such a measure of comfort, reassurance and sense of stability when you are certain that YOUR NAME is being called aloud in the form of a prayer by someone each day.
I have a little blue book at home where I write prayers and sometimes scriptures for my family members. My five-year-old granddaughter, Katie, almost always picks up that little book and thumbs through it when she is at my house. The other day she flipped to one of the pages and asked, “Is this one for me?” Her eyes can’t yet decipher my cursive writing but her spirit already wants to be included in the prayer covering that I am placing over my family. I love that she has already learned the value and significance of prayer.
Those prayer words can be very empowering, encouraging and affirming when we are weak, uncertain and afraid.
It’s a very humbling yet faith building experience to have someone pray out loud for you, saying your name in sincere supplication. It’s also, I believe, a very moving experience to read a prayer someone has written on your behalf. Both are powerful reminders that we are not in this world alone. Those prayer words can be very empowering, encouraging and affirming when we are weak, uncertain and afraid. They can sustain and nourish us on a level we don’t always fully comprehend.
Several years ago I had a friend who was going through a very painful divorce. I so wanted to help pull her through this difficult time so I asked if I could schedule and treat her to a relaxing massage. I went with her to the appointment and the entire time the therapist was working to soothe and relax her body, I wrote prayers that would hopefully soothe and relax her soul.
Honestly, I believe the prayers she later went home and read meant more to her than the massage. She has commented to me multiple times through the years how those words ministered to her heart during a time of great suffering.
Our prayers are healing, in whatever form we offer them. Our prayers are a gift that never needs to be exchanged. The cost of prayer is time, thought and intention. The value of our prayers… only eternity will reveal.