If You Pray for Someone, Let Them Know

January 23, 2023

Prayer changes things.

Things happen when we pray that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t pray.

When we get to heaven, we’ll no doubt be surprised and overwhelmed by the prayers of others that we knew nothing about.

That leads me to this.

Lately I’ve been reminded three different times about friends who prayed for me. I have already remarked on Jessie Sandberg’s faithful notations that she had prayed for Marlene and me during our seminary years in Dallas. When she died recently at the age of 93, that’s the first thing I recalled even though those prayers had been offered almost 50 years ago.

Then I heard that Dan Drake passed away.

During the last few years of my pastorate in Oak Park, Dan would come to my office at 7:45 AM on Sunday. He and Mark and Dick and Ron came because they wanted to pray with me before the first service.

We would chat for a minute or two, and then we would pray. I don’t think those men fully understood how much those prayers meant to me. Nothing gives a pastor greater encouragement than hearing men lift him up to the Lord before he preaches.

Week after week, Dan came with the others, and he prayed for me. You don’t forget something like that.

Then I got a big envelope in the mail from my friend Ryan Whitley, who pastors CrossPoint Church in Trussville, Alabama. When I opened it, I was stunned to see that he had not only been praying for us last year, but he had also actually written and dated his prayers. The attached picture shows one of about twelve handwritten pages. Little notations to the side tell me where he was during the year, including Germany, Denmark, Indiana, Florida, and Tennessee.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

In 2 Corinthians 1:11 Paul reminds his readers that “you help us by your prayers.” He uses a Greek word that occurs only here in the New Testament. It’s a compound word that comes from three other words meaning “with,” “under,” and “work.” It’s what the Amish do when they have a barn raising. They get under the frame, lifting it up together, and holding it up so that it can be put in the right place. In the same way we join together and lift the burdens of life as we pray for each other.

Through prayer we unleash the power of heaven for our problems on earth. Knowing that others are praying for us gives us strength to keep going.

God has ordained that our prayers matter.

We will never know until we get to heaven how many times the prayers of others rescued us. But in that great day, when all the secrets are revealed, we will discover that we would have fallen but someone prayed for us.

We would have given up, but someone prayed for us.

We would have made a stupid decision, but someone prayed for us.

We would have crumbled under pressure, but someone prayed for us.

When all is said and done, we will learn that God used the prayers of others to enable us to make the journey from earth to heaven, and we will discover that without those God-inspired prayers, we never would have made it.

I pause here to record my gratitude to Mrs. Sandberg and to Dan Drake who are both now in heaven. Thank you for praying for us.

Thank you also to my friend Ryan Whitley who is very much still with us on earth. You prayed for us during your own very busy life.

Our prayers matter.
Keep on praying.

And let your friends know you are praying for them.

God uses your prayers to help others as we walk life’s road together.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?