The older I get, the more I am aware of the physical needs around me. I’m praying more for others, even those who I don’t know directly. Our prayer list at church is filled with those dealing with health issues. Because I am still new to the church, I know most on the list as “the son of …” or “the grandson of ….” I don’t have a face to associate with the name or even know much about the situation. My prayers often consist of a petition and asking to fill the need “because You know them and love them.”
This is still a new practice for me, but Mom prayed like this for years. I have come across so many lists of names of missionaries who were strangers to Mom. Occasionally she had a tiny bit of information about them or their families, but it didn’t matter to her. She was faithful to pray for these people and would often lead the prayers in her women’s groups.
Most of the time, the lists she’d use included the missionaries’ birthdays and location. I’ve found smaller lists written on smaller scraps of paper which she may have carried in her wallet or used as a bookmark. I can’t even imagine how many names passed through her lips.
Of course, there were the prayers for those she knew and loved. There are lists with those names, too, often followed by a record of how the prayers were answered. Some prayers were as simple as asking God to help me during a test or as complex petitions for safety as Carla and Walter moved their family back overseas. I know God was faithful to answer her requests because I have her records of these answered prayers.
Today as I sit next to Mom, I realize how much of our current life is a result of answered prayer. Mom is still here many years after a dementia diagnosis, and for the most part, is still in good health. Dad is in excellent health and is probably going to outlive us all. They still have each other which is amazing after almost 69 years of marriage.
Answered prayers are all around me. My dearest friend is still here after a close brush with death. My children have grown into self-sufficient adults. I have a vibrant music studio and music opportunities that bring me great joy. I serve a precious congregation with a minister I respect. I prayed for each of these things and God answered. I can hardly begin to list all the prayers He’s answered.
Today, I hope you will look around you for answered prayers. Count your many blessings and be grateful.