“Your love (Philemon) has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” (Philemon 1:6). “God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2Cor.7:6). “Onesiphorus often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains” (2Tim.1:16)


Heavenly Father, it’s the first day of Spring and we want to thank you for those you’ve placed in our lives who serve as refreshing “springs” of grace. Heck yes, we’re thankful for our favorite preachers and teachers of the Gospel, but today we give a shout-out of thanks to those whose pulpit and lectern is a caring presence, a well-timed laugh, a cup of fresh mercy, and the manna of your comfort.

Their eye contact, listening, and kindness “preach” the Gospel to us. Their compassion-antenna and Spirit-sensitivity serve us in timely and uncanny ways. They always seem to know when to call us, when to pursue us, when to push in without being pushy, when to weep over us, and when to nudge us back onto the dance floor of your joy. Their gift of encouragement is life-giving, heart-refreshing, and hope-restoring. Their honesty about their own struggles and weaknesses makes it easier for us to own ours. Bless them Father. Bless them and multiply their tribe.

Abba, and thank you for those who love to pray with us and for us—for they are a critical means of your grace in our lives. One of the great mysteries this side of heaven is how you use our feeble, childlike prayers to reveal your Fatherly sovereignty over all things, in all places, all the time. For these and the other encouragers you’ve placed in our lives, we give you praise. Make us grace-copies of them to others. So Very Amen.