Growing in Prayer

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul is writing his second letter to a young associate in ministry. Paul himself considers Timothy more than a coworker. He considers him his own son (2 Timothy 2:1).

Praying for someone else, especially a family member, entrusts the person to Christ’s care instead of fretting over them ourselves. The word for “prayer” here comes from the Greek word that means ‘that which is necessary, what is needed’. So, make a list of what the person needs to be strong in the Lord. List what problems they may be dealing with. Keep the list in a place where you can review it often. This will help you “constantly remember” in a good way.

Sometimes, as in Paul’s case with Timothy, prayer is the only thing that you can do to help the person. I was thinking about that in light of this COVID-19 pandemic. There are many urgent requests and needs that we have now that we didn’t have before. People may be anxious about life after Staying-at-Home. List out the concerns you have for yourself and others. In the process of doing this, you’ll find that some things probably won’t happen or they’re not worth worrying about. If you know how to worry, you’re a potential prayer expert. The difference is whether you keep the concerns to yourself or constantly remember them before God. The goal is to transfer the burden to God, who can really help. This is a process. The more you learn to rely on Christ’s love and care, the more the truth of verse seven grows in your heart and mind.