Mom’s Prayer List
By Josie Clark
One day I picked up my mom’s well-worn Bible and it fell open to the back page. There was a list of names. Mostly ones I recognized, but some I didn’t. At that moment Mom walked in, and I asked, “What’s this?”
“That’s my prayer list. I pray for different people to open their hearts to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior. When they do, I put a star by their name. See, here’s your name, and there’s a star beside it.”
I spent a moment looking over the rest of the list, and then my eyes went back to the top. There was Uncle George. And no star.
“As you can see,” Mom continued, “I’m still praying for some of them. But there are a lot of stars, aren’t there? Sometimes, it takes time, but someday I believe there will be a star beside every name on this list.”
Several years later, Mom passed away. I was sorting through some of her things, boxing up items she had earmarked for each of us children and trying to decide what to do with the rest, when I came to her old Bible. I flipped to the back page, and there was the list of names. There were more stars than before, but still no star beside Uncle George’s.
Only a few months later, Uncle George died of cancer. Near the end he had unexpectedly called for a local evangelist to come to his bedside. No one knew what took place during that visit until George’s funeral, when the evangelist stood up and said, “I am here at George’s request. I didn’t know George well, but we spent a few moments together before he passed on and he asked me to speak to you who are gathered here today.
“First, he asked me to tell you that in those moments we spent together, he asked Jesus Christ to be his personal Savior.
“Second, he wanted me to convey his deep love for you, his family and friends whom he left behind, and to ask you to not mourn for him, but to rejoice that he lives.
“Third, he wanted me to ask you each to take a moment now to consider eternity. He regretted having waited until the end of his life to do so, and he wanted each of you to understand how simple salvation is by sharing with you the same Bible verses I had shared with him.
“‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.’ Wouldn’t you like to join George in Heaven when you die?”
Hearing this, Mom’s words sprung to mind and my heart skipped a beat. “Someday I believe there will be a star beside every name on this list.”
The Best Thing
God has His reasons for allowing problems in life, and one of the main reasons is to teach us to pray. He lets us come to the end of our rope, the end of our strength and what we think we can do to solve the problem at hand, so we will realize that He’s the One who has got to do it and pray for Him to work, by His power.
The best thing you can do for others is pray for them. If there’s something we can do to help the situation and we ask Him what that is and how to go about it, He will show us and help us do it. But in the end, the thing that will help more than anything and without which all of our labors are incomplete, is prayer–to pray for Him to work in the spiritual realm to bring about the needed change.
He’s the only One who can change hearts and minds. He’s the only One who can bring people to the point where they’re willing to change or do whatever is necessary to make progress or fix the problem. So the best thing we can do to help people who are having problems is to pray for them. We can’t do the miracle that’s needed, but the Lord can. Our prayers move His hand and make things happen in the spiritual realm that change things in our physical realm.
Reflections © The Family International. All Rights Reserved.
If you’d like more inspirational material, subscribe to Activated! Visit http://www.activated.org.