Have you ever had someone tell you they were thinking of you? It is a relatively easy thing to say to someone, but it is so encouraging, so empowering to be on the receiving end. In Christian parlance we often “upgrade” our thoughts to prayers. Paul recognizing the power of being thought of in this way says, “Brothers, pray for us (1 Thess. 5:25).” What an encouragement it must have been to him to hear that he was indeed thought of and prayed for!
But note that the converse is also true. Precisely because we love to be thought of, we also hold keys to one of the more powerful opportunities that we have to engage those around us. When we think of/pray for those around us, and let them know we are doing so, we draw close to folks and are often invited into deeper levels of relationship. This, of course, is true for those who are part of the family of God, but is equally true for those who are outside of the family of God, perhaps even more so. Just this morning, conversation with a waitress concluded with “say a prayer for me.” I happen to know she is not attending church right now, but is craving the type of remembrance that we in the family of God can often take for granted. God has given me an opportunity to pray for her and follow up by letting her know. While I can often be overwhelmed by the thought of being active in outreach and all that it might entail, perhaps this is as good as place as any to start, “Hey, I have been thinking about you.”