I Prayed have prayed

This week is the anniversary of my brother-in-law’s traumatic brain injury. The one-year mark is an important milestone — where he is now is his new baseline. He cannot see well enough to read any of his collection of over 1,000 books, mostly spiritual and historical. He cannot walk or take care of basic hygiene without assistance. Yet his gentle spirit and the few words he speaks are kind and full of faith.

Pray for your fellow intercessor.   


I am thinking of him and my sister a great deal, and I remembered something that inspired this article. My daughter visited her aunt and uncle several times in the years before the life-changing surgery. She noticed that every weekend morning, they would make Earl Grey tea and sit in the same room while they each read their Bibles and prayed. They often shared with each other insights or thoughts. It was a beautiful tradition. So, the next time my daughter visited, she brought them inexpensive mugs from a big-box store. One said, “Best person ever.” This reflected my daughter’s love and admiration of her aunt and uncle. A small action, but kind and encouraging.

Since then, my daughter has taken a post with a Christian humanitarian organization. She lives in Africa, and it is the fifth country she has lived in over the last two years. It is a wonderful job. At the same time, she has given up much to do this work, including living close to the family she cherishes. During her home leave at Christmas, we visited my sister and her husband. They now live in a handicapped-accessible one-bedroom apartment in an over-55 community. One of the amenities is a coffee bar in the lobby. You have to bring your own mug, so one morning my sister selected a mug and went down to get my daughter a coffee.

When she came back, she looked at my daughter with tears in her eyes. “I thought about it,” she said. “You really are ‘the best person ever.’ I admire you so much.” This small action meant a lot to me and even more to my daughter.

What does this have to do with governmental intercession? Everything.

At least once a week, IFA presents you with an opportunity to send a prayer message to your elected officials. Yes, many organizations ask you to “take action,” but IFA is the only one I know that includes prayer in every message. It takes fewer than five minutes to read the email, understand the issue, and click “send.” Admittedly, the first time you do it, it may take more than five minutes. But once you are set up, and if you stay logged in to IFA, it can actually take as little as one minute!

Do these messages make a difference? Yes!

IFA contributing writer Kim Potter has told her story, and I want to share it again here. Kim lives in Tennessee. She has made it a habit to send IFA Action messages every time she receives an email about them. “IFA makes it so easy,” she told me. Small actions.

One day she received a large package in the mail from the state of Tennessee: a book with an enclosed letter. The letter was from Tre Hargett, secretary of state for Tennessee. It read:

Thank you for your recent email. …

I am especially grateful for your prayers. They are the greatest gift given to any elected official, and I am humbled you would take the time to lift me up to Him.

Along with the letter, Mr. Hargett had enclosed The Tennessee Blue Book for 2021–2022 — over 900 pages listing every leader and government department of Tennessee. A perfect prayer list for a governmental intercessor. A small action.

IFA’s chief program officer and I attended an event in Washington, D.C., recently. We met a newly elected congressman, Morgan Luttrell, R-Texas. A former Navy SEAL with nine tours of duty, he even survived a fall from a helicopter, according to Wikipedia. This guy is tough. So, it was remarkable to see how touched he was to hear about the ministry of IFA and our mandate to pray for elected officials. He repeatedly told us that it is needed, and he wants our prayers. He described his impression from the many emails he had received in just a few weeks of public service: It was that people “hate” the members of Congress.

You can do something about this. When you receive IFA Action emails, you can pray and tell elected officials that you are praying. You can also scroll down right now and send a message or two.

There are other small actions you can do. Do you like what your elected officials are doing? When you send the message from IFA, you can take a minute to add a sentence or two of gratitude. At the end of this article there are links to recent messages you can send.

What else? Post a comment when an article inspires you, or when God has confirmed the message somehow, or when you pray for another commenter or someone on the prayer map. Look for ways to share an encouraging word in this community and in your community.

Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees (Job 4:4).

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

IFA has an entire webpage devoted to actions, called the Action Center. Click HERE to go there and access hundreds of messages to send on various topics. I have listed some action messages right here that are great ones to start with. You can click the title to send a message. Remember, the first time may take longer than five minutes, but once you send one, it’s really easy!

One of the most amazing things about IFA is that this community allows our individual small actions, our individual prayers, to add up to something amazing. The overturn of Roe v. Wade. The exposure of corruption in our government. The encouragement of an elected official. Our small actions matter.

It’s Black History Month, and so I will close with this quote from Booker T. Washington, whose book Up from Slavery is a wonderful American classic:

Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.

Do you have an encouraging testimony to share from an interaction with an elected official? Please leave a comment.

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February 11, 2023

Thank you for the encouraging words. I will take the time in the future to make my IFA messages more personal and encouraging the the recipient.

I really appreciate what you do. Prayer changes things!

Rich Swingle
February 8, 2023

Moved me to tears, Judy! I always take action on these when I have time, but because of your article I’m going to make time more often!

Praying that many take action because you took the time out of your incredibly busy schedule to write this beautiful piece.

Joyce Swingle
February 7, 2023

Judy, this article is wonderful, lovely, and inspiring. Thank you for sharing and urging the small, but important, actions. They can be the widow’s penny, can’t they? May the Lord bless and keep you in this key ministry to the King and His Kingdom.

Lynn Kuitems
February 7, 2023

Amen! I lived near DC for years and prayer did make a huge difference! Let’s keep obeying God by praying for our government.

Donald Vader
February 7, 2023

Yes Lord that I may be faithful in the little things… Amen

February 7, 2023

I have been prayer walking in my capitol for years. I pray not so much the big things,but those things that they are concerned with. I have walked with them through the deaths of loved ones and prayed for babies to be born. It lets them focus on other things.

Nancy Rife
February 7, 2023

I was seated beside ambassador Sam Brownback at an IFA banquet in December, 2021. His genuine faith and love for all of us was so real and encouraging. In fact in that banquet room, full of political leaders, church leaders, ministry leaders, intercessors – we were all one big family of God, working together, encouraging one another, supporting one another, serving one another in so many different ways! It felt like a family reunion with a purpose to pray for the end of roe versus wade as the Dobbs case was being presented at the supreme court the next day. And truly, LIFE came forth from that group and the many others that had been praying for 49 years!

February 7, 2023

Thanks for this reminder. We are the hands and feet of Jesus.

Chidi Okoye
February 7, 2023

Wow, thank you so much for this reminder.

Lori Meed
February 7, 2023

Judy, this article gave me such hope this morning! When people struggle with depression or discouragement, counselors often urge them to do one thing that day for someone else – to focus on blessing someone. This is true too of the often seemingly monumental task of all that needs our prayer attention. These small acts are not small to God. They are love in action.

Virginia in Tennessee
February 7, 2023

This was a beautiful word. Thank you for reminding us that it’s the little daily things that can make up a life well lived. May we long to live our days feeling the pull of our Lord to live like He would have us live-loving others even when they are unlovely and walking in the path He would have us go.

Bob Huseby
February 7, 2023

Our Senators and Representatives here in the state of Texas are quick to send letters and emails of appreciation for our prayers and concerns. I know they are praying people.
But today I want to lift up before our Fathers throne Ms Mcdonough’s daughter who is ministering in Africa. Father may your angels camp round about her and may the ministry through which she works fulfill your plan for them. And that-no weapon formed against them would prosper. In our savior Jesus’s name we pray and believe !! Amen

    Jessica Shaver Renshaw
    February 7, 2023

    Yes, thank you for this article, Judy, and thank your daughter for her faithfulness to the Lord!

    Speaking of “small things,” I would appreciate prayer for faith, peace and courage as I face brain surgery soon (March 3?) It is just a meningioma, not in the brain itself yet, not malignant–pretty straightforward as brain surgeries go (at least for the surgeon!)–but I vacillate from seeing this as another adventure with God to being terrified at possible complications. My first husband died of an aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Those last 18 months of his life were the hardest yet closest period of our 34 years together. Although I am remarried, having a brain tumor myself now (two actually) is a bittersweet link to him. Thank you.


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