I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. Philemon 1:4
Malcolm Cloutt was named a 2021 Maundy Money honoree by Queen Elizabeth II, an annual service award given to British men and women. Cloutt, who was one hundred years old at the time of the recognition, was honored for having given out one thousand Bibles during his lifetime. Cloutt has kept a record of everyone who’s received a Bible and has prayed for them regularly.
Cloutt’s faithfulness in prayer is a powerful example of the kind of love we find throughout Paul’s writings in the New Testament. Paul often assured the recipients of his letters that he was regularly praying for them. To his friend Philemon, he wrote, “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” (Philemon 1:4). In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, “Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers” (2 Timothy 1:3). To the church in Rome, Paul emphasized that he remembered them in prayer “constantly” and “at all times” (Romans 1:9–10).
While we might not have a thousand people to pray for like Malcolm, intentional prayer for those we know is powerful because God responds to our prayers. When prompted and empowered by His Spirit to pray for a specific individual, I’ve found a simple prayer calendar can be a useful tool. Dividing names into a daily or weekly calendar helps me be faithful to pray. What a beautiful demonstration of love when we remember others in prayer.
What has helped you be faithful in prayer? How have you been blessed by someone’s prayers for you?
Father, help me to be faithful in prayer, knowing You always hear me.
Most of Paul’s letters mention a prayer of thanksgiving for readers early in the letter (Romans 1:8–10; Ephesians 1:15–16; Philippians 1:3–4; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4). At other times, he includes a section of thanksgiving without explicitly mentioning a prayer of gratitude (2 Thessalonians 1:3). A notable exception is Paul’s letter to the Galatians. There, after offering “grace and peace” (Galatians 1:3–5), the apostle immediately addresses the crisis of false teaching that had taken root in the Galatian churches (vv. 6–7).