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The Gift of Prayer

But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. and we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will if God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

Carroll Ellis Cobb lives in Virginia. Throughout her life her mother prayed diligently. At the top of her prayer list was her family - her father, her sister, and Carroll. When she died, what grieved Carroll most was that the one person who prayed for her every single day of her life was gone. Her grief made Carroll realize just how important it is to pray continually for others. So now Carroll has a calendar on her refrigerator that marks the birthdays of people in her life: Family, close friends, social media contacts, former work colleagues, church members, and college classmates. Carroll makes it a point to pray diligently for these extraordinary people during the month of their birthday. She contacts those she knows well to ask if they have anything specific for which they would like her to pray. Sometimes she gets a list, sometimes not. Some people on her calendar have no idea that Carroll is praying for them. But she prays anyway.

Just as her mother's prayers brought comfort to Carroll, she hopes others are encouraged to know she is praying for them. But truth be told, the joy is hers - because when she prays for others, she celebrates the unique and wonderful people God created them to be and the blessings they are in her life.

Prayer: O Lord, thank you for the people you have brought into our lives. Bless them with your presence, and help them to know how much you love them, in Jesus' name. Amen


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