A Hidden Treasure
I have shared about my Uncle Larry before. Mom and I talk about him all the time and about how much we miss him. He was such a bright spot always making everyone laugh. He also called and checked on her every week after my dad died. I never thought of Uncle Larry as a spiritual person. In fact, like us all, he made his share of mistakes and took a while to get on the right path. He always told me he was waiting to grow up with me! And that is about when it happened! Recently, Mom was cleaning out and found a 2013 church bulletin from Tennessee where my Uncle Larry lived out his later years. She brought it to me and told me to read it. Under the prayer list I saw, "Jill Newsome"! He had me on his church prayer list. I have cried every time I see that bulletin. I had no idea that Uncle Larry was praying for me or having others pray for me. I am so touched that he gave me such a precious gift.
Prayer is a gift that we can give each other, when we can give nothing else. I was very sick and I am sure he did not know what he could do for me. He called weekly to brighten my day and make sure I laughed and that was wonderful. He never told me he was praying for me or that my name was on a prayer list by him. The New Testament tells us about Jesus praying for others on many occasions. Jesus continues to go to the Father on our behalf. Romans 8: 34, "Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Even after dying on the cross for us, He continues to care for us by praying for us right now!
I always knew IUncle Larry and I had a special bond and I knew he loved me. One of the best ways to love others is to pray for them. What is so beautiful is that I had no idea he was praying. The second part of this gift is Uncle Larry's faith. He reached out to God in faith on my behalf. All through Scripture we see people praying for others. Moses' praying that God would be merciful to his people. Deuteronomy 9: 26, "I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand." Daniel prayed that God's people be freed from exile. Daniel 9: 19, "Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” The apostle Paul begins his letter to the Philippian Christians writing that he is praying for them. Philippians 1: 3-4, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy..." We see Jesus pray throughout his ministry.
We often think of healing prayers for people but most of the prayers recorded in the Bible are of another type. When Jesus prayed for others, He prayed for their faith. Luke 22: 32, "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” He prayed for unity. John 17: 11, "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one." He prayed against temptation in their lives. Luke 22: 40, "On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.'” He prayed for their sanctification. John 17: 17, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."
It is a privilege to be prayed for and a privilege to pray for others! "I find it really beautiful when someone prays for you without you knowing. I don't think there's any form of deeper and purer love."