Oftentimes I am so very guilty of the quick-prayer for those on our church prayer list or those I know about going through sickness or surgeries, but I’m really trying to focus on doing better. Our church prayer list is always filled with folks in need of God’s presence and hand in some way in their lives. I knew someone once who said in their prayers, “God, please be with all those I’ve promised to pray for.” And God is quite big enough to know exactly who it was he was referring to and what their precise need was on that day at that moment. He is able to fill their need, comfort their grief or heal their body in an instant if that is His will in the situation, but I feel that when we do the “short and sweet” prayer we are cheating ourselves as well as those we’ve promised to pray for.
Time is a high commodity these days, but if I can at all, I try to actually write out, or in some cases text or message out, my prayers when asked by someone to pray for something very specifically. The exact prayer I send to Jesus, and use to petition the throne for that need, is actually sent to the person who requested the prayer. This is in no way to say, “Look, see, I prayed for you,” but it is for God to take those heart-felt words and hopefully encourage that person. Praying for the need can also be used as an encouragement to those who request it.
How many times have you asked someone to pray for a specific need and that person stopped in their tracks and say, “You know what, let’s pray for that right now!”? Oh, what joy has filled my soul when that has happened for me! Oh sure, they could have prayed in their own time, and God would have heard their prayer just the same without me in attendance. But in that instant, they were my cheerleader. That’s not a job just for pastors. That’s a job for all of us.
There have been times when God has placed someone specific on my heart at a specific time. I always try to grab my phone and text or email that person (call if I can), and ask them what need they have in their lives at that moment. God didn’t put them on my heart for no reason. They have a need, and I’m being called to pray for them specifically. I then respond to them with my prayer for them. It is a wealth of encouragement for me to know in hard situations that not only does God see my circumstances and know I need prayers, but He’s sending those cheerleaders to me as to say, “We’ve got your back. You can do this.”
We live in a world where very few true conversations are had anymore. The conduit for our sentiments is now screens of various sizes instead of voices through the air. As we pray to God in heaven aloud or silently in heart-talk, He hears them just the same, but take time to really pray over your friends and loved ones through those screens. Type out that prayer as you are petitioning the throne for them and send it to them. Be their cheerleader. Be their army of support to let them know you love them and are there right beside them in spirit, facing the trial together.
Counting 1000 Gifts
#22 – Dusky Light- So thankful for the beautiful North Carolina sunsets we are blessed with. Thankful God is using my time here to really cause me to stop and just stand in awe of His creation.
#23 – Surprising Reflection – The gift of the reflection of myself I see in my children, and the reminder to strive to walk with God all the more closely as they are walking closely with me.
#24 – Lovely Shadow – That I dwell in the lovely shadow of His grace!