I woke up with a start. Was that the answering machine I’d heard? Yes—someone was leaving a message. I grabbed the handset next to me and said hello quickly, hoping to catch whoever it was. I was so glad I did. It was my little Matthew!
“Hello, Grandma! It’s Matthew! I was just leaving you a message!” his five-year-old voice piped up. He sounded excited.
“Why, hi, Matthew!” I answered. “What’s up?” I was always happy to hear one of my grandchildren on the other end of the line, but when it was one of the little ones it tickled me even more. His baby sister had called a few days before just to tell me “I poopy!” Ah, yes—they’re always good for a laugh!
Matthew wasted no time, but came straight to the point of the call. “Grandma, can I play with you?”
It took me by surprise. What kind of game could we play over the telephone? “Well, sure, Matthew, I’ll play with you but what do you want to play?”
“No, Grandma! Not play—pray! Can I pray with you?”
Awww! The little sweetheart! My heart just melted. “Of course, Matthew! I would be so happy to pray with you! Who should go first—you or me?”
“You go first, Grandma.” I began to pray, mostly for Matthew—that he would be a good boy and obey his mommy and daddy; that he would help around the house and be kind to his sisters; that he would always love Jesus and grow up to serve Him, and so on.
As soon as I said amen, he jumped right in there. “Dear Jesus,” he said clearly and with such fervency, “Thank you for this good day! Help us to be healthy and help me to be good…” He went on for a minute. It was a sweet, simple little prayer as only a little one can pray, but it showed a tender heart and a love for Jesus. I could not have been more thrilled that my five-year-old grandson wanted to pray with his grandma! We are separated by 3500 miles, but closely knit together in love.
We chatted for a few more minutes and then he handed me over to his mommy. I could hear the sweet pride in her voice for her little guy as we talked. She told me Matthew had called Grammy, too (my mother, his great-grandma) to pray with her, and I knew she had to be as delighted as I was with that call.
We finally got off the phone and I decided to check the answering machine for the message he had left me. Sure enough, there was a message. “Hi, Grandma! Love you! Dear Jesus, thank you…” he jumped right into his prayer, determined to pray with Grandma even if she didn’t answer the phone! You can bet I won’t be erasing that message for a long, long time!
When was the last time you called someone just to pray with them? Matthew’s desire to pray with his grandmas, I learned, came about when he overheard Grammy praying on the phone with his mommy that morning. She had woken with a strong feeling that she needed to call Laurie and pray with her, and when the Lord continued to impress it upon her, she had done just that. Apparently Matthew thought that was a fine idea and decided he wanted to pray with his grandmas, too.
I agree with Matthew. We spend a lot of time chit-chatting on the telephone over inconsequential things. What would happen, I wonder, if we picked up the telephone to pray with someone every day? Maybe there is someone who has specific needs. The Bible says, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19, 20) Multiply the power of prayer by two when you pray with somebody and not simply for him or her.
Perhaps someone just needs some encouragement. We may uplift that one in prayer already, but can you imagine the blessing it would be to that person to actually hear that prayer as it is being offered to the Lord over the telephone? Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was certainly encouraging. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy… And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:3-4, 9-11)
God has blessed us with modern technology so that communication with our friends and loved ones can be instantaneous. Let us use that ability to bless others by praying not just for others, but with them. It is the ultimate in three-way conference calls—you, your friend or loved one, and God!