Recently while doing some house-cleaning, I came across one of the most wonderful gifts ever given to me. I recalled how it came unexpectedly with a special delivery by a caring lady who brought a gift bag to our office.
She opened the bag and placed a beautiful, white crocheted shawl around my shoulders and said that each stitch represented a prayer. The delicate handiwork came from a Prayer Shawl ministry of First United Methodist Church in Andalusia that includes ladies from various denominations. At the time, I was recovering from Bell’s Palsy.
To think that a group of people – some of whom I knew, but others I do not know personally – took time to pray for me was overwhelming and humbling. The package included a note from the church and the story of another friend who had received a prayer shawl.
The next day, a letter arrived with a message from the pastor and a list of ladies who signed the letter and who had committed to pray for me daily during the next week. “We believe prayer can change things and change lives,” their letter expressed their strong belief in the power of prayer.
“We trust you will feel the prayers of God’s people and experience God’s grace as he ministers to your specific needs.” I felt wrapped in the love of fellow Christians with the shawl around my shoulders and covered by their prayers.
Author S.D. Gordon once said, “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing; but it is the chief thing.” Charles Finney put it this way, “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.”
“There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him,” states William Law. And. an early church father once wrote, “When we are linked by the power of prayer, we, as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path.”
Mother Teresa reminded us of Jesus’ example. “Jesus has very clearly stated, ‘Be ye holy as my father in heaven is holy.’ So let us pray for each other that we grow in love for each other, and through this love become holy as Jesus wants us to be for he died out of love for us.”
“If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer,” minister and author Richard Foster has written. The Bible gives us this powerful promise: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16 ESV).
I cannot find the words to thank these ladies for the threads woven in love for me and, most of all, the prayers said for me. I can say that God has answered your prayers.
Jan White is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who lives in Andalusia. Her email address is email@example.com.