I’ve always admired those people who come up to you and ask you how you’re doing and tell you that they’ve been praying for you. I’ve always wanted to be just like them, but if I haven’t been praying for someone, I don’t want to say that. I would often write down prayer requests and try to pray for them, but I got discouraged because there were SO many people to pray for, and it seemed impossible.
A couple weeks ago, my verse for the week was 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Obviously, I didn’t really need to memorize the verse because I already know it, but I wanted it to serve as a reminder to pray–specifically to pray for others. At Bible study each week, I write down prayer requests, so I started with that list of people and made myself pray for each person and each request in the 40 minutes that I have to walk to my earth science class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’ve always known that we are supposed to pray for others, and I never really questioned it. In all the Bible studies that I’ve had on prayer, I remember learning that the reason we pray to God is for our relationship with Him, but I didn’t remember why we pray for others. I mean, after all, God already knows what’s going to happen, and He controls it. Is me praying about it really going to do anything? I really started to wonder about this, but I was too embarrassed to bring it up at Bible study because to me it seemed like something I should know. I did ask my roommates about it, and they gave me an answer, but it just didn’t satisfy the questions that I had. I decided just to wait and see if I came up with an answer later.
I had my prayer requests from Bible study written on a piece of notebook paper, and the next week, I wrote updates and new prayer requests on the same sheet of paper. It was really messy, and I decided that I should recopy everything on a new piece of paper so that it would be neater and easier to read. I didn’t have time to do it until Wednesday after Thirst No More around midnight or so. Both my roommates were already asleep, so the room was all dark and quiet, but I was wide awake because I had drank coffee earlier. After my quiet time, I decided, since I was still wide awake, that I should recopy the prayer requests.
I had been praying for these things for about a week, and as I recopied each one, God started giving me answers to my questions. In the stillness of the night, I realized that I felt closer to each of these girls because I had been praying for their struggles. I knew what they were going through, and when I saw them, I wanted to know how they were doing. I realized that it probably helped them in their trials to know that someone was praying for them and for someone to ask them about it and really want to know how they’re doing. So that was my first answer — praying for others helps form deeper relationships and also helps you to be more compassionate.
I was so excited about this for like a week, so I shared it at Bible study. My prayer request a couple weeks before had actually been for my prayer life, so the girls were excited to hear how it was going. One of the girls gave me another very cool result of praying for others. She said that when people are praying for a certain request, when God glorifies Himself in that situation, more people see it, and that is really cool too.
I’m not a perfect woman of prayer, and I still have a long ways to go, but just learning this has encouraged me SO much!
Well, my roommate is waiting for me to eat lunch with her, so I’d better go for now. But now you see why I can’t write blogs very often — they are SO long! :)