In small group conversations, confidentiality is key, so I won’t share any revealing details about this situation, but the way it was handled deserves to be highlighted for our edification. Last night, during one of our LifeConnect Groups, a member was talking about a crisis of which she had been made aware, and that she and another Christian friend had prayed together over the telephone for the individual involved in the crisis. To me, this is a marvellous example of the body of Christ at work: no need to wait for a ‘religious professional’ to intercede on your behalf – just pray!
What I especially loved about the way she described the experience, though, was that they had been “talking to Jesus on her behalf.” I love that turn of phrase! The really ‘churchy’ word is “interceding”, and the moderately ‘churchy’ word is “praying for”. But “talking to Jesus on her behalf” just captures the true meaning of prayer for others!
And there’s a witness to be had in situations such as this. The individual being prayed for, it turns out, had had the potential to sustain a life-altering injury, but ended up with nothing more than a sore neck – a miracle, of a sort, for which two Christian women had been “talking to Jesus on her behalf.” Isn’t that amazing? The witness comes when we tell that other person that we believe her miracle came about as a result of “talking to Jesus on her behalf.” That can have an immense impact.
I know that when someone tells me that she or he is praying for me, I express a humble joy and thanksgiving, because I know how much it means when people pray for me – what a difference that can make. And I find, too, that even people who are not yet Christians generally respond positively to being prayed for. We sow seeds of faith in others when we tell them that we have been “talking to Jesus on their behalf.”
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ form the time you first heard it until now” (Philippians 1.3-5, NLT).
So when you pray for others, don’t hesitate to tell them that you have been “talking to Jesus on their behalf.” It will encourage believers, and draw others closer to the Lord!