Every day when I sit down at my computer to work I see my sticky that is my to-do list for the day. Yes, I am fully aware that one of the core competencies of a computer is to organize lists like this. However, I am old school and as you can see, I love physically marking things off of my to do list. There are very few things in life that are quite as satisfying.
However, you will also notice there is one thing not crossed off on the top of my list. That is because it is not completed, and it will not be completed for a few more years. The item simply says “Theresa/Michael.” Every time I start a new list, I write it at the top to make sure I do not forget about it.
Theresa is a lady who called me after I was sharing my family’s story on the air about my brother doing time in prison. I was talking about how God used that time to change my brother and I shared about our struggling to navigate a broken system to try to help him get his life back when he got out.
This conversation resonated with Theresa and she proceeded to share her story of her son Michael with me. Michael is in prison, and it has been extremely difficult on Theresa and her family. She spends many days crying, praying, and worrying for her son. However, she said hearing my family’s story gave her hope that things could be good again for her son and for their family. This is why we share our stories, especially the not so pretty stuff, because we never know how God is going to use them to help someone else.
Be Intentional in Prayer
So, the reason Theresa and Michael’s names are written and rewritten every time I make a to do list is because that is my reminder to pray for them every day. That is not something I take lightly. I know we can sometimes use it as a way to exit a conversation “Ok, I’m praying for you,” but if we say it, we really need to make sure that we are following through with that promise.
Recognize the Power of Prayer
I know I am guilty of using prayer as my last resort instead of my first response. That is something I am working on personally. In the past praying for someone almost felt like a substitute for action, but many times there is nothing else you can really do and praying for someone is not nothing. I think we have to remember that there is power in prayer, and it is a privilege to be able to pray for others who have shared their lives with us. Plus, it helps grow our faith as well.
Wait Expectantly for God’s Answer
I look forward to the day when Michael is home with his mom! I know first hand what a great day that is, and I can’t wait for them to get to experience that. Then and only then will I cross them off of my to do list!