I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.
— 2 Timothy 1:3
When Paul wrote these words, he was sitting in prison in Rome. Having been judged by the courts and sentenced to death, he was living his final days in prison as he awaited the day of his execution. The method of execution had been decreed: He was to die by beheading.
Paul knew that in just a short time, soldiers would enter his cell, bind him in chains, and then take him to the place of his beheading. As he anticipated this coming hour, Paul received a letter from Timothy. Reading the letter, he perceived that his young disciple was in trouble. A spirit of fear was attempting to operate in Timothy due to the horrific persecution that was sweeping like waves across his city. In addition, Timothy was fighting feelings of hurt and devastation because the leaders he trusted had abandoned him in this difficult hour.
Paul knew that this might be his last opportunity on earth to encourage the younger man of God, so he wrote back to Timothy and told him, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day” (2 Timothy 1:3).
This word “remembrance” comes from the Greek word mneia. In some places in literature, this word denoted a written record used to record and memorialize a person’s actions. In other places, it signified a statue, monument, or memorial. An example of this latter meaning is found in Acts 10:3,4. As Cornelius prays, an angel appears to him and says, “Thy prayers and thy alms are come up for a memorial before God.” This word “memorial’ is from the same Greek root as the word “remembrance” that Paul used in Second Timothy 1:3.
What do all these various meanings have to do with Paul’s prayer for Timothy? What images does Paul intend to communicate by using this very special word?
First, this word tells us that Paul intended to use his prayer time to make sure Heaven was fully aware of all the achievements being accomplished by Timothy. Before Paul began to lift up Timothy’s present need, he’d take the time to tell Heaven everything he thought and felt for this young man of God. By doing this, Paul memorialized Timothy in the annals of Heaven! Paul set the record straight and made sure Heaven was aware of what this young disciple was doing in Jesus’ name.
We need to learn from Paul’s example. Before you begin to pray for a person’s need, first take a few minutes to review his acts of faith! Remind the Lord of all that person has done for the Kingdom of God. Put the Lord in remembrance of the way he has served, the time he has given, the money he has sown, and the way he has endured to do His will. Make sure you start your prayer time by setting the record straight and memorializing that person in the Presence of the Lord.
Second, the use of this word tells us that Paul prayed so fiercely and fervently for Timothy that his prayers left a lasting impression in Heaven. Like a statue or memorial permanently stands for generations to remind us of what someone did in the past, Paul’s prayers for Timothy were monumental in Heaven. Figuratively speaking, Paul prayed so much for Timothy that he filled the throne room of God with pictures, images, statues, and memorials of the younger man. Everywhere God looked, He saw an image of Timothy! In other words, God was continually confronted with the needs of Paul’s young disciple through the apostle’s continual prayers.
How would you like for someone to pray for you this much? Would it bless you to know that one person is so dedicated to praying for you that he has filled Heaven with your image — to the point that everywhere God looks, He is met head-on with your needs and your desires?
Let me turn the question around now and ask this: Is there anyone you’re praying for right now? If the answer is yes, go for it with all your heart, knowing that your prayers are painting pictures and erecting statues of that person and his need before God. Because of your prayers for your loved one, God will consistently be reminded of his need and will move mightily on his behalf.
These Greek meanings tell us that it is almost as if Paul was telling Timothy:
“Timothy, my intention is to pray, pray, pray, and pray for you until I have set the record straight about your activities and until I have stacked the throne room of God with your name! Anywhere God looks, I want Him to see a living memorial of you! I don’t want God to ever forget you; therefore, I am loading Heaven with statues, monuments, and memorials of you. My prayers for you will stand as an everlasting memorial before God!”
The fact is that many lives have been spared because of a mother or grandmother who prayed. Even long after these faithful prayer warriors die and go to Heaven, their prayers continue to exert power in life. Why is this so? Because prayers are permanent and everlasting. God never forgets a prayer that is prayed in faith. That prayer stands in His Presence as an everlasting memorial — like a huge edifice or marble statue!
Don’t wait another day! Go ahead and start stacking Heaven with some of your own everlasting memorials. Open the door for God’s blessings to flow into the lives of those for whom you pray. And be assured — your prayers of faith on behalf of others will NEVER be forgotten by God!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank You so much for people who have prayed for me. I know their prayers were a vital force to keep Heaven in remembrance of the needs and situations I was facing in life at the time. Forgive me for not being more grateful for people who loved me enough to pray. Now I ask You to help me faithfully pray for those You place on my heart, just as others have prayed for me. Help me keep Heaven in remembrance of these people and their needs.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I declare that I am faithful to pray for the people I love! Just as others have prayed for me, I take time to pray for those whom God places on my heart, even mentioning them by name to the Lord. My prayers are powerful and effective for them, causing Heaven to be constantly confronted by the situations and needs they are facing right now. I make a difference in their lives by taking time to pray!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you know anyone who fervently prayed for you and who is partially responsible for where you are in life right now because of his or her prayers?
2. Don’t you think it’s time for you to return the favor by consistently praying for someone else?
3. Why don’t you make a prayer list of people you can begin to pray for every day? Take time to really think about who you should include on that list; then write down their names on a piece of paper, and keep the list in a place where you can refer to it when you pray.