A few weeks ago a phone call moved me to tears. I had never had one like it in my life. Never. I can hardly believe it even now. It was more gracious than I could have imagined a phone call could be.
A friend of mine called from out of state. He is a pastor and a school administrator. He is busy in multiple ministries and has a family.
He told me that recently he was at a conference and the speaker challenged those present to consider the impact that they might have if they devoted themselves to praying for someone every day.
He said that as he was praying the Lord brought my name to mind. He has given it thought and prayer and he wanted to tell me that from now on until he or I die or Jesus comes he is going to pray for me every day.
Can you believe that? No one but Noël and God has ever made such a commitment to me. Imagine it. That means, if he and I live out our three score and ten years he will pray for me over 8000 times. It means rain or shine he is praying. For better or for worse he is praying. If I succeed or fail he is praying. If I lose my mind and become a vegetable he is praying. If I make shipwreck of the faith and commit apostasy he is praying.
This kind of commitment took my breath away. It brought tears of joy and gratitude. It made me tremble. It was in fact an inexpressible demonstration of God’s covenant love to me. I feel that I have been loved with bands that cannot be broken. I am overwhelmed.
I hung up the phone and prayed: "Thank you, Lord. I need this power and this guidance so much. O that I might be docile in the Lord’s hands. Lord bless _____ in his intercession for me. Strengthen him. Use me for his good in the way you touch me through him. May we be mutually empowered by this commitment."
What an amazingly foreign thing in this unstable culture! Someone who says, not just if it feels good, and not just if I think of it, and not just if you respond well, and not just if I am fulfilled by it … but “John, you can count on it, every day until the Lord returns or until I die, I will pray for you, whether it’s one minute or one hour.”
Please don’t think that this is the only good kind of commitment you can make. There are all kinds. For example, I am committed to pray for our whole staff by name every day as long as I am the pastor of this church.
What prayer commitments might God be nudging you to make?
As a tiny one, consider the All-Church Concert of Prayer Wednesday December 8, from 5:45 to 7:55. O how I need to pray with you about the pressures and possibilities of our ministry together. Please come.
Still stunned by the gift of commitment,