I must admit I have not always thought of it as a privilege to pray for someone. Let's face it, there are many needs out there and our list can grow long by the end of the day and overwhelm us. It is a hurting world out there filled with hurting people. But as the Lord draws me closer to Him each day, I have begun to see prayer as a privilege. A way to bless so many who have blessed me.
Allow me to tell you about a situation that also helped change my prospective on prayer. The short version...we lost friends a few years ago because they said we were too 'needy'. Too hard to be friends with. We met them during the last six months of bringing CJ home so yes, we were needy...and desperate, and tired, and hurting. (can you even imagine how they would have felt if they had known us the whole time? ;) Don't answer that!) And so they walked out of our lives. It hurt! And it made me question my asking friends for prayer daily. Understand, I fully believe in going to the Lord FIRST with prayer, but I also find comfort in knowing there are people out there pleading to the Lord in our behalf, but I wondered if we did that too much.
About that same time Amy Grant's song Better Than a Hallelujah came out. I love what it says, "We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts...are better than a Hallelujah."
Every time I hear that song it is painful. I mean, it hurts my heart! But sometimes pain is good. Sometimes it shows us a problem. In this case it reminds me that while we can tire people with our prayer requests, shame on our human sinful nature, we can never tire the Lord. He longs to hear from us. Our hurts, our fears, our frustrations,...our everything!
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6:18
I tell you this story not so you can be angry with those people or feel sorry for us, but so that we can all reflect on whether or not WE have been those people at some time. Have we been too busy to lift our friends in prayer? Have we put our needs before others? Are we missing out on our friends celebrations because we are not willing to walk through the dark times with them as well? I can honestly say yes, that has been me before. And it grieves me.
I now purpose to pray when asked. Immediately! (don't you love those people who when you ask them to pray bow their heads and immediately lift their voices to God?) And I consider it a priviledge! When I see a prayer request on Facebook now, I type what's on my heart to that person, close my eyes, and pray...THEN hit send!
I have found that if I wait until the end of the day or during our nightly devotions I often forget (hey, I am a busy, often distracted mom!). But if I pray NOW, I am honoring my word, you, and the Lord. You are not forgotten by me! I desire to walk with you through the light as well the darkness in your life!
So this morning I challenge you to join me and the next time you type the words "I will pray for you" DO...before you hit send!
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
How can we pray for you today?