We were talking about exercise. My friend was discussing the low-impact machine she uses for her workouts, and how kind it is on her knees. She was blunt, matter-of-fact, preoccupied with weight loss, schedules, fitness, health. In passing, she mentioned she prays for me on Thursdays. She has her prayer list taped to her exercise machine.
I was astounded at her confession. She didn’t perceive she’d said anything extraordinary, but I felt as though a 2,000-pound bell had been struck in my presence, and the vibrations rang through my very soul.
She prays for me on Thursdays.
She huffs and she puffs and she prays.
She remembers me every week.
We don’t talk often. She might hear from me once a month. She’s busy. I’m busy. But she’s not too busy to pray.
She might not know what is going on in my day-to-day life, with my children or my job. She does not know the details, but God does. And she trusts Him to care for me. Every week, rain or shine, no matter what, she prays for me.
The apostle Paul’s friends might have felt like I did at my friend’s confession, when they got his letters. Writing to believers in the churches he established, he says, “God… is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times.” (Romans 1:9-10) “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:16) “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” (Philippians 1:3-4) “Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” (Colossians. 1:9). I could add many more verses along these lines.
These verses should be enough to send me to my knees—but what really got to me was my friend’s living these verses. When did I ever pray as faithfully for someone else as she does for me? When did my heart overflow with joy and thanksgiving for those around me?