FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART September 11,2023
“My love and prayers are with you.” I write this statement almost every week to someone who is going through a difficult time in their life. It may be in response to an email received, detailing a tough situation that someone I know is facing. It might be a reply to a Facebook post about the death of a loved one. I often share this promise in a card or note, expressing gratitude for some act of kindness or generosity towards myself or on behalf of the Cordova Baptist family.
Yet, this is more than a trite phrase that I write in passing. It is an expression of true feelings and a promise from the heart that I consider to be a sacred pledge. The Bible commands us to pray for one another in several passages. We are told to pray for others, asking God to help them (1 Timothy 2:1). We are to pray for good health and for all to go well for other people (3 John 1:2). We are to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:2). We are to pray for people both in times of suffering and in times of joy (1 Corinthians 12:26). Jesus even taught that we are to pray for those who mistreat us (Matthew 5:44). Paul repeated this lesson in Romans 12:14: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” He adds in the next verse to: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
As followers of Christ, we are to live in accordance with the example that He set for us in His earthly ministry. Jesus shared in the sufferings and the joys of other people, with a heart of love. He often prayed to His Father, on behalf of the people around Him. Jesus was moved with compassion by the needs of other people, to the point of acting on their behalf. While He had the power to heal their hurts, He also prayed for God to bless them and guide them. In His prayer in John 17:6-26, He prayed for the protection of present and future followers, for unity with other believers, and for them to know intimacy with Him and with one another.
We need to guard against spending all of our prayer time focused upon ourselves and our loved ones. We should be faithful to pray for the health and the hurts of those who God places in our paths. When we make a promise to pray for others, we should stop at that very moment and offer up a prayer for their needs. It is easy for us to pledge our prayers, but to quickly forget that promise. For that reason, we have a printed “Prayer List” to help us recall those in need of our support. I urge you to avail yourself of this tool for your daily prayers. Please know that my love and prayers are with you!
Serving in love, Bro. Jim