A few ago I received a phone call from John Sergey. During our years in Oak Park, John and Helen (who went to heaven a few months ago) were dear friends and strong supporters. I don't suppose anyone prayed for us more fervently. Not long before we moved, John showed us his prayer list. Written in his own hand, the list was very long because it included his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, his many friends in America, and the many pastors and Christian workers he has befriended and taught during his sixty-plus years as a missionary to Russia. When I looked at the list, I saw that he had written "Pastor Ray and Marlene" near the top of the list, behind only his family members. Every day he has prayed for us for over sixteen years.
And now his beloved Helen has gone to glory and we have moved to Mississippi. He called to see how we were doing, and to wish us a happy Thanksgiving, and to say that he loves us and to assure of his continued prayers. At one point he mentioned that every night before he goes to bed, he prays through his entire prayer list. "It must be a mile long," he said. Then he added these words, "When I come to your names, I feel warmed in my heart as I think of you and Marlene, and I feel as if I can meet you at the throne of grace."
There are some blessings that only Christians understand because they are blessings given only to the children of God. Through Jesus Christ the veil has been torn apart, and we now have access to the throne of the universe. And thanks be to God, that throne is no longer a throne of judgment. Through the blood of our great High Priest, that throne is now a throne of grace. We come freely into God's presence, and when we come in Jesus' name, we will never be turned away.
There is truly something mystical about the power of Christian prayer. One man in Illinois can pray for us in Mississippi and through the divine alchemy of prayer, he meets us at the throne of grace every night.
Neither time nor distance can separate us from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through prayer we meet each other in a foretaste of the day when we will never say goodbye again.
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