Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Long Distance Prayers

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b, NIV 1984).

For years I have been praying regularly for people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, but who were once important in my life. Last month I was tempted to cut a few off my regular prayer list because of this lack of connection. Surely God doesn’t want me to spend all this time praying for people with whom I am no longer connected?
And, just as I was asking the Lord about cutting back to save morning time, four of those whom I had planned to cut loose contacted me, after many months of silence.

Bill lives a thousand miles away and accidently “pocket-called” me. I learned of a depression he had been struggling with. He still needs to know Jesus.
Randy is a physician in the Northeast who contacted me to pray with him about a patient with whom he is sharing Christ.
Roberto emailed me to set up a phone conversation about a medical mission he is considering. He had heard of my experience in that country.
Farokh had moved to Atlanta years ago and now was moving back to our city. He needs the Lord.
Disconnected for many months except prayer, but still connected by God’s plan for our lives.

Sometimes I wonder if it matters whether I pray for folks. Not the ones right next to me but the long distance ones.
Sometimes, like with the folks mentioned above, God places people in my life that I cannot seem to remove from my thoughts and prayers. I may not have seen them for years, but they have been significant in my life and I cannot let them go when I pray. Is this just a doctor being compulsive or does God want me to continue to hold them up? I was in the middle of this discussion with God when these four contacted me.
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, speaks of prayer. Part of his admonition is “always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18b, NIV 1984).
Given Paul’s words, and now branded by my experience, I plan to keep praying for all of those whom God places on my heart, until He tells me to let them go. The worst that can happen is that I spend a little more time each day talking to my Creator.

Dear Father,
Keep me faithful in prayer for those you have placed in my heart.

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