People pray for me. That blows me away.
I mentioned in Bible study today, after church, that it hit me during church. “Sure, it was a pre-written prayer. But in it, you all prayed for me. And that blew me away.”
And a woman in the Bible study shrugged and said, “Every day I pray for my pastor, my church, and my synod.”
They say – they being the Bible here, which means the “they” in this case is God, which isn’t really a they – I think daylight savings time is getting to me – they say that one of the purposes of gathering with other Christians to worship is simple and necessary encouragement. And this was incredible encouragement. I’m important enough that others are routinely lifting me up before God’s eyes and refusing to let him forget me?
It came to me as we were discussing this at Bible study, but I think the analogy is true.
When you find out others are praying for you, it’s like running into battle. You’re on your white charger, blade held high, screaming at the enemy as you race toward the oncoming tide of terrible, dark forces. You feel alone.
And then you realize that there is an army chasing after you, backing you up. A tidal wave of valiant, honorable troops backing you up.
And that is what prayer for another person is. It is backing them up on the field of battle. They are not alone, though they may feel it.
And at least some in my congregation are backing me up. They’re praying for me. And that is humbling. And scary. Me? I’m nothing! I’m just some guy!
It’s funny… right now in that same Bible study we’re reading through the book of Esther. As Queen Esther contemplates risking her life to do the right thing, her cousin Mordecai says, “And who knows but that you were put in your royal position for such a time as this?”
Who was Esther? Just some girl. She was blessed with beauty. She was blessed with wisdom. She was blessed to be put in the right place at the right time. But in the end… she was just some girl that God used to rescue his people from annihilation.
I’m just some guy, but God has placed me here in this congregation at this time. I shepherd his flock – for now, at least. Unless Jesus comes again, another will come after me, just as many preceded me.
But for now, the congregation supports me. And that still blows me away.
I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to this.