Pastor Tim: Who Prays For You?

The Rev Tim Smith, pastor at Hele Road Baptist Church in Torquay. Photo: Contributed

The Rev Tim Smith, pastor at Hele Road Baptist Church in Torquay. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Archant

How often you do you declutter your home?   
I don’t find it easy to throw things away, and the full to overflowing condition of our loft space bears testimony to that fact.   
I’ve kept hold of old stuff, such as computer monitors and printers “just in case” they might come in useful; but of course, they haven’t, and instead they’ve remained in the attic gathering dust for well over a decade.  
Standing in our loft last week, I resolved it was time for a clear out. However, whilst rummaging around up there, I came across a box I hadn’t opened for years, that contained old photographs and letters, with one letter in particular catching my eye.   
It was written to me by my gran - Nana we called her - back in 1983, whilst I was studying in Liverpool. I haven’t a clue why I’ve kept the letter, but as I read her bits and pieces of family news, one sentiment captured my attention.   
“Hope you aren’t working too hard; I am praying for you, that you will do well in your exams”, she wrote. And then again, at the end of the letter, Nana says, “I am thinking of you and praying for you. God Bless You. Lots of love from Nana”.   
As I stood reading those 38 year-old words, the memories of that wonderful lady, and the impact she had on my life, came flooding back. Nana was a person of great faith in Jesus, and part of the way she expressed that faith was by praying to the Lord for me, as well as her other six grandchildren, every day.   
Do you think that someone praying for you helps? And I wonder if you know anyone who prays for you on a daily basis?   
In his book on intercessory prayer, first published over thirty years ago, author and pastor Ron Dunn describes the difference someone else’s prayers for him & his family, made.  He writes: “The most frightening sound in the world is a telephone ringing in the middle of the night, and my phone was ringing at 4am.   
“Only a couple of hours earlier I had collapsed into bed after a long trip from New Mexico, and I knew this phone call meant another seven or eight hours on the road, with no rest at the end.   
“It was my brother telling me that our mother had died – of cancer – after fifty days in the hospital. We threw some clothes into a couple of suitcases, dragged the kids out of bed and beat the sun to the highway by an hour. Mercifully, it was a trouble-free trip and we arrived in fair condition. That was in August.  
“In September, sitting in a friend’s house in Colorado, I mentioned Mum’s death. My friend suddenly stood up and said, “What day was that?” I told her the date, as she disappeared into another room. In a moment she was back, flipping through the pages of a notebook.   
“Here it is,” she said.  She read the date and the entry. It was a prayer diary, and on that August Sunday morning, long before sunrise, she awoke with a burden to pray for my family and me – an unrelenting burden that stayed with her most of the day.” 
In most of the apostle Paul’s letters that are found in the New Testament, he tells his readers how much he is praying for them. And on several occasions, Paul also says how much he needs the prayers of others.  “Pray also for me” is his simple request in Ephesians 6:19. And in Philippians 1:19 he tells his readers that “your prayers, along with the help of the Holy Spirit, will make the difference for me.”  
In an interview in the Courier newspaper this week, Arbroath FC manager Dick Campbell described life since his recovery from lung cancer, almost a decade ago:  “My wife prays for me every day” says Campbell.  “I don’t know if that got me through things, but it certainly didn’t do me any harm.”   
Who is praying for you today?