I was in Korea on a missions trip last year and was driving between churches with my dear friend Dr. Daniel Kim, pastor of the Bible Baptist Church in Seoul. Dr. Kim is a gracious man, and he expressed (as he often does) his joy in seeing what the Lord is doing through Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College. With the kindness of a mentor, he affirmed, “Dr. Chappell, I pray for you every day.”
I was touched that a man with the responsibilities of Dr. Kim would pray for me daily. I must have expressed my grateful surprise, and that is when he made a statement I will never forget:
“How can I tell you I love you if I do not pray for you?”
He was right—convictingly right.
My heart for the people I serve, those I lead, those I’m privileged to call my friends will be proportionate to my prayer list. After all, how can I tell them I love them if I don’t regularly pray for them?
Think of this statement specifically in relation to missions. Do you love missionaries? If the answer to that question is an honest “yes,” then you surely pray for missionaries.
What about your Sunday school class? Do you pray for your students by name? For their specific needs? What about those on your staff team? Your church family? Your pastor?
One of the most touching statements in the New Testament is in Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae when he speaks of their pastor Epaphras and says he is “always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).
It has been rightly said that true love labors. It could be added that godly love labors in prayer. For how can I tell you I love you if I do not pray for you?