“Why’s my name on your wall?”
Fair enough she should ask. It was definitely her name, and it was definitely written on a piece of paper pinned to my bedroom notice board. When you walked into my room you couldn’t miss it.
“It’s to remind me to pray for you. Any prayer requests? Anything you want me to talk to God about for you?"
Well you’ve got to tell the truth haven’t you. And that was the truth. I’m rubbish when it comes to remembering to pray for people in a regular rhythm, so writing the names of all of my fifteen plus housemates on my wall was a matter of necessity in order to actually talk and listen to God for them. I’d sectioned my week to pray for different housemates each day as well, to make it manageable. Nothing super-holy about that. Just a brain that needed prompting to pray for others.
What I didn’t expect next, was for my friend to cry because she was so touched that I prayed for her.
“That is so so nice”, she had said through tears and smiles. For a reason we couldn’t put words to at the time, I think there was a moment of realising that being prayed for was kind of like being given a very special gift without anything expected in return. Priceless.
It is a very simple thing to do, to write the names of your friends on your wall. But it is deeply powerful, way beyond the actual act of praying for them.
I got a chance to ask my friends what I could pray for, for them, and write it up on my wall. Exams, parents, relationships, sleep. It matters to them, it matters to me, it certainly matters to God. I was in a student's room the other day and she too had all her housemates’ names on bright post-its by her bed. It reminded me how much of a faith statement this makes.
Right there on your wall, you have pinned your colours to the mast and made your faith transparent for your friends to see and be part of. The names on the wall shout: “I care about you”, “I believe prayer works”, “I am committed to our friendship”, “I live out this God thing for others not just my own benefit”.
Will you “devote yourselves to prayer” for your housemates and friends during uni? Will you trust that God can use even a simple list of names on a wall to introduce people to Jesus? This blog isn’t just a story. It’s stating a basic idea each of us could create and implement within the next few hours. Our call is to pray for our mates, God’s call is to use our faithfulness for his power and impact.
Pin-up your friends’ names and let’s ask them what we can pray for, for them. The truth is, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving away this gift.