Making mention in prayer
Some years ago, whilst working in my role as a biomedical scientist, I heard about a patient who had a kidney transplant. Such patients need to take a type of medication called immuno-suppressive drugs. These drugs prevent the patient’s immune system from rejecting the transplanted organ. The doctors were able to gradually reduce the patient’s tablets from several a day at first, over a year or two right down to a half tablet each day. This worked fine and for something like 14 years the half tablet did the job. However, one day the patient forgot to take the half tablet and sad to say, he went into graft rejection and lost the kidney. Although he was only taking a tiny dose it went a long way and unfortunately as soon as he stopped the entire benefit was lost.
This story made me think of a recurring theme in the bible of how God can make a little go a long way. Let us bring these stories to mind…
Elijah’s tub of flour and jug of oil never ran out during the famine (1 Kings 17:8-16).
Elisha prayed that the widow’s jar of oil would keep flowing and she was able to clear all her debts (2 Kings 4:1-7). God filled every vessel of the widow which c.f. with us being filled with the Spirit but he is never diluted or diminished.
Jesus prayed and the loaves and fishes were multiplied to feed a multitude (Matthew 14:17-21) and had lots of leftovers too.
Again, Jesus tells us (Matthew 17:20) that if we have the tiniest measure of faith, then we can move mountains!
God certainly can make a little go a long way! And he does time after time, again and again,
Let us now focus specifically on a little going a long way in the context of prayer. Sometimes we think that for certain types of prayer to be effective, then the prayer must be nice and long. But could God act on us merely mentioning someone in our prayers? Well, here are 5 biblical examples from the Apostle Paul, who clearly thought mentioning someone in prayer was very worthwhile.
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention  of you always in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.
Philemon 4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
So, what does it mean to mention someone in prayer? A dictionary definition of the word ‘mention’ -a brief comment or remark, or, to remember briefly.
As we get older in the faith our daily prayer lists get longer and longer! Paul’s prayer list must have been very extensive (he prayed for the Galatians, Colossians and many other churches, families, and individuals). But he felt that it was important to continually be mentioning his fellow believers in prayer to the Lord.
Sometimes, we think that for a prayer to be effective that it must be long! As an older car battery charger gives a trickle charge, so our making mention of others in prayer is constantly bringing them before the throne room of grace.
Sad to say, from my own experience, for several years I used to briefly mention each day two children with serious health problems. They always seemed fine. But I unintentionally forgot them for a year or two. When I next saw them, I was surprised how much they had deteriorated, and I decided that I had to start mentioning them before God each day again.
Beloved, God can make your little go a long way. So, give God your littles:
(your little prayer, your little time, your little finance and little resources, your little strength, your little capacity to care for others, your little faith can move mountains), and know this that even mentioning someone in prayer to the Lord is positively making a difference in their lives.
Father God in Jesus name, we offer to you the ‘littles’ in our lives, our time, our strength and energy, our finance and resources, our little time in prayer, and all other areas of our lives where we feel ‘little’, asking that that you make each one of them go a long way in the building your kingdom.
 3417. mneia, mni'-ah; from G3415 or G3403; recollection; by impl. recital: --mention, remembrance.