The ringing of my phone interrupted my quiet evening drive. It was a close friend on the other end, “Marie, I need you to pray for me!” She only had a few minutes to talk, just enough time to tell me about the very stressful things going on in her life, and I assured her that I would pray for her. After she hung up, I prayed for her out loud for the rest of my drive.
We’ve been friends for a while and have exchanged a number of “emergency” prayer calls and texts. We’ve prayed each other through some big life changes, and I expect that will continue. Prayer—an ongoing conversation between Jesus and me—has been intricately woven into the highs and lows of my life. And I love how, in a time of need or rejoicing, someone else can join in on the conversation and lend their faith, passion, and love.
Among Christians, the phrase “I’m praying for you” is casually tossed around, often lacking impact because of a lack of commitment. When someone is in crisis, we tend to look around for something we can actually do, because that seems more helpful than “just praying.” But the truth is that committed prayer is one of the greatest services we can perform.
My mom has demonstrated this to me over and over. She’s not a woman of influence or means, but when she tells me that she’s praying for me, I know things will work out. She has prayed me through many a difficulty, and just knowing that she was praying for me was always strengthening and comforting. At least I knew that she was confident in God’s faithfulness even when I wasn’t.
Praying for one another is a major way Jesus’ followers serve one another. The Bible says that Jesus “lives to make intercession for [us.]”1 And He allows us the privilege of interceding for one another as well. I’m not a prayer expert, but I believe that my tiny effort in prayer can help to lift up discouraged loved ones and change situations for the better.
When my friend asks me to pray for her, I pray from my heart. I know that she will do the same for me. I know that, through prayer, we can love and care for each other despite any distance or separation.
1. Hebrews 7:25