She said, “I pray for you regularly.” I stopped in my tracks and was humbled in my spirit. I responded by saying, “I can’t thank you enough.”
I truly meant that sentiment. I cannot thank people enough who have prayed for me. This is true as a pastor, but it is more valid as a person. My life of faith has been carried on the prayers of others.
The prayers of others have kept me from trouble, led me down the right path, and opened doors through the power of God. Their influence has been present in the mistakes of my youth, the decisions during my young adult years, and the difficulties of married life.
I cannot explain precisely how prayer works, but I know that God has done amazing things in my life that cannot fully explain. There were moments where I am sure I did not pray enough, and yet he responded. I assume it is because others were people praying for me all along the way.
My parents prayed for me. The Church I grew up in had several people praying for me. Sunday School teachers prayed for me. Youth sponsors, leaders, and ministers lifted me up to God in their prayers. Friends have prayed for me. I know a college professor who has prayed for me once a week for the last 25 years. My wife prays for me. People in my past and present congregations continually mention my name to God.
Today I want to thank everyone who has ever said a single prayer on my behalf. I am where I am today because of you.
I also want to encourage you. Someone is praying for you. I know they are. Your parents, siblings, preacher, co-worker, friends, and even people who barely know you are seeking God’s will on your behalf. They are asking God to work in your life, protect you, bless you, strengthen you, and whatever else you need.
Part of your life is the result of your decisions, and another part is the direct result of God’s sovereignty. The second part is carried along by people who have decided to pray on your behalf. For those moments they spend before God, I am truly thankful, and I hope you are too.