For more than 20 years I have used a Rolodex of index cards filled with names of people that I pray for. Here are the following categories on these cards:
- People Who Need Jesus (that I know personally)
- Married Couples (Glorify God)
- Singles (wait for God’s best–Bozo vs Boaz)
- Youth (God Squad or Blazing Torches)
- Spiritual Leaders (Pastors, Bible Teachers)
- Family Members
- Illness, battling cancer, etc.
- Emotionally ill (need healing of heart wounds)
- Card for my heart dreams and desires
- Individual card for my husband and each of my children, mates and grandchildren
- Professional athletes & wives (their influence for Christ)
- Christian Celebrities (i.e. Steven Curtis Chapman)
Recently Ken and I were talking with a couple we have been marriage mentors to. They were sharing about the new church they are attending and their fabulous preacher. When we asked what the Pastor’s name was, I just about fell out of my chair (Derwin Gray). I flashed back to standing in a hallway (at a Pro Athletes Outreach Football Conference) more than a decade ago, sharing with a young couple about the seriousness of a consistent, daily time in God’s Word. Throughout the conference, we would speak several more times and I shared about different study methods and commentaries that I have used to become a student of the Word. When I left that conference, I went home and placed this couples name on my prayer Rolodex that I pray through on days of fasting. So for more than a decade I have prayed for this young couple who I never saw again. Then I hear what God is doing in his life not only in this church in Charlotte but all over the world. I jumped up and went to get the index card from my Rolodex with the pastor’s name on it. We were all wowed by the reality of holy sweat in prayer!
Another person on my Rolodex has been heavy on my heart since Super Bowl Sunday. Why such lengthy ‘holy sweat in prayer?’ I saw this former football player give his testimony on a video and 7000 people prayed to receive Jesus in response. I have prayed for months for a chance to let him know that God used his testimony so profoundly and that he had a gift beyond the world of football. After months of praying, I get a phone call from one of his closest friends and I share how I have longed to write to him. This friend told me that my letter would arrive at a critical time because the Lord is doing a new work in this man’s life. Oh the joy of holy sweat in prayer.
Almost thirty years ago, Ken and I opened our home to a young single woman named Ruth who needed a place to stay for a few days. Those few days turned into a mentoring/friendship that has lasted almost thirty years. Ruth has been on the Single’s index card then the Married index card. Through ‘holy sweat’ prayer, Ruth became my writing mentor. After years of ‘holy sweat in prayer for this precious person’ she wrote this:
“YOU are the gift to me, Jack (one of my favorite nicknames). Next spring will be THIRTY YEARS since I met you in your living room, when you and Kenny came to my rescue. Isn’t God’s plan fascinating?? I rejoice in His provision of YOU as a constancy in my life these 3 decades. You have saved my mind and heart from the edge of a cliff 10,000 times. Biggest Hugs and Love, Your, Ruthie”