Prayer is a constant line of communication with God. I’m still learning so much about prayer. It’s humbling to think that the God of the Universe will listen to what little ole me has to say, especially since it used to be that there was a much more complicated process to talk with Him. Jesus has become our mediator and High Priest, making it possible for us to go directly to the throne room of Heaven with all of our hopes, hurts, confusion, and confessions.
What Intentional Prayer Can Look Like…
Years ago, our family became friends with an old, old evangelist named J. Harold Smith. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “Up,” he had the same sort of glasses as that man…square, with black rims. He had white hair and a square jaw. And when he spoke, you listened. Countless people came to a saving knowledge of Christ as he proclaimed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He came and preached a revival message at our church under a big tent and that’s when we started getting to know him.
On one particular trip to Tennessee, our family went by to see him. I can’t remember if it was a pre-arranged meeting or if my dad decided to call him up because we were in the neighborhood. But what I do remember is that my little girl eyes saw something I had never seen when we went to visit him. We walked into his office. It was filled with books and there was a big desk with various papers and things on it. The office was dim, except for one desk lamp. That lamp was everything.
Preacher Smith motioned for us to come over and see what was underneath the lamp that was lighting his office. It was positioned strategically over a legal pad with many names on it. Those names were the ones of people he was praying for. Among the names was my dad’s name. The lamp was shining on the name of Jerry Pereira. When Dr. Smith prayed for people, he wrote out their names on his legal pad and left that lamp shining on his notepad all day long, as a continual prayer beaming to the God Who Sees, keeping the line busy to Heaven with those names as the continued offering of intercession.
I was amazed that he had taken the time to put my dad’s name on that list and pray for him so intentionally.
We Left with More than We Came With
Before we left, Dr.Smith wanted to take us out to eat. But, we had just eaten a big meal. Disappointed, yet understanding, he put some cash in my dad’s hand and said, “You go buy your family some Hershey Bar pie from Hardee’s. Don’t you dare spend this money on anything else.” So, the four of us did just that, smiling as we remembered he had done this same thing after preaching at our church, only that time the money was for my dad to buy my mom some flowers since he had occupied so much of his time that previous week. Per my mom’s request, Daddy bought her some daffodil bulbs to plant in the front flower bed so that every year, she could enjoy her “J.Harold Smith” flowers. Last time I was home, we saw Dr.Smith’s flowers “saying hello” from the front flowerbed, long blooming since Daddy and Dr.Smith both went to Heaven.
I think her flowers represent a lot of what we saw in that room that day: spotlight prayers, continually beaming to Heaven on our behalf.
When I think of Dr.Smith’s spotlight prayers, I think of Ephesians 6:18, “ And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” and Psalm 141:2, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
We can pray spotlight prayers for people, too. Whoever is on your heart today is there for a reason. You may be the one who is called to lift them up to Jesus and to ask Him to do for them what no one else can. You may be the one to ask for something bold or something steady on their behalf that isn’t on another person’s radar.
We Can Pray Spotlight Prayers, Too
Let your prayers be a steady stream of light between Heaven and Earth, a re-blooming of growth and beauty, offering evidence that those God lays on your heart are seen, prayed for, and brought before the Lord with a sweet remembrance and a bold ask.
Your prayers can help bolster a person’s weary heart to continue the Kingdom work that God has set them out to do. Keep shining the spotlight on their names before the throne so that in return, the spotlight will be pointed back to Jesus for the good things He has done in their lives and in their strengthened obedience to Him.