My dad has prayed for me every day for 52 years. It is difficult to describe the security and love that I feel each time he says to me, “Son, I pray for you every day.”
Prayer is a gift of love for you to give to your disciple. Telling your disciple that you pray for him is just another way of saying “I love you.” You may not have money, possessions, or position, but all can give the gift of prayer.
In addition to love, prayer for your disciple communicates value to him as you bring his name before the God of the universe for His consideration and blessing. There is something about someone interceding on our behalf that communicates worth.
Both Jesus and Paul give us the example of a discipler praying for his disciples. Jesus prays for his disciples throughout his ministry, and we even have one of those prayers recorded for us in John 17. Paul not only consistently prays for his disciples, but he also regularly tells them that he prays for them and gives them the content of those prayers (e.g. Ephesians 1:15-23).
Most believers will never have the experience of someone daily praying for them. I know of no better way of loving your disciple than to daily offer up prayers on his behalf.
Here are a couple of things I do:
- I take the prayers of Paul and pray them over my disciple. (“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give Nate the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that Nate may know him better…” Ephesians 1:17)
- Periodically I send a text message or email to my disciple to let him know that I prayed for him that morning.
- I keep pictures of my disciples from over the years in a 3 x 5 box and rotate the pictures as a prayer reminder.