As I continue on my Scripture writing journey, I’ve come across an important verse for our ministry and work here at Love Does That:
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”1 Timothy 2:1, NLT
You see, for us, it’s not just about giving you the tools and resources you need to come alongside others who are hurting. It’s not just about selling you a handcrafted card. It’s about being there for you as you encourage others.
We pray for every single customer by name. We pray for any requests you mention to us. We pray over our products as we prepare them for you and package them to mail. And we continue praying for you throughout the year.
Because we know that you are on the front lines providing care and support to people who are really struggling. You are walking alongside friends who are depressed and battling suicidal thoughts. You are grieving with those who have experienced loss. You are caring for those with chronic or terminal illnesses. You might even be facing these things yourself.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:30
A Ministry of Intercession
Ours is a ministry of encouragement, but it is also one of intercession. And like Paul urged Timothy, so we urge you to “pray for all people.” Join in their struggles by praying for them.
- When your friend is hurting but isn’t allowing you to help, pray for them.
- When an acquaintance is struggling, but you’re in the Outer Circle of friends and aren’t sure what to do, pray for them.
- Pray for the person at the store who appears to be having a hard day.
- Pray for the older gentleman sitting alone in the coffee shop who seems to be a little lonely.
- When a colleague is worried about an upcoming deadline and dealing with stress at home, pray for them.
And in doing so, you are joining in on our ministry of intercession and, thus, our ministry of encouragement. We need you, and so do they.
Giving Thanks for Them
Even as Paul urges us to pray and intercede for others, he also encourages us to give thanks for them. How do you give thanks for someone who is hurting?
- Recognize the positive ways they have impacted you or others
- See the way they are generous or kind to those around them
- Take note of the wisdom or knowledge they share
- Identify the skills and talents they use at work, at home, or in the community
- Acknowledge their sense of humor and lightheartedness
- Be grateful for their faithfulness or honesty as they walk through a difficult time
Perhaps even write them a note to thank them personally for the way they have encouraged or helped you. And then let them know that you are praying for them.
As we pray for others–asking God to help them, interceding on their behalf, and giving thanks to them–we are standing in the gap for those who are struggling. We might not receive recognition for it. It’s a behind-the-scenes ministry. And that’s okay. Pray for them anyway and watch as God works in their lives.