I'll just pray for you

Maybe it's just me... maybe you can relate.  As I talk with a friend or even a stranger hearing just a portion of their current chapter in life, this happens.  As questions are asked, as conversations are deepened, challenging circumstances are revealed.  Hearing and listening, I've realized, are very different veins of communication.  Hearing is surface; listening gains depth of understanding.  Many of us live in the "fix-it" mentality.  As we listen with intensity, our thoughts go quickly to who can help, what must be done, how might a remedy be achieved, where should we go for the answer, when will we create a solution.  Problem solving is good and needed in difficult situations, so we can't stop thinking and helping with answers.  What I've realized, though, is so often when we get to the end of all the questions and figuring of possible remedies, and maybe even understanding the "problem" is not one with a foreseeable "fix", our ending statement goes something like this...

 "I'll just pray for you."

It is never intended as the last resort... the "there's nothing else we can do" default.  We certainly believe in the power of the Mighty God we serve. right?  You've been privy to those times when you truly felt powerless to help in any earthly way, and offered a sincere sigh of, "I will pray".  Then against seemingly ALL odds, the Lord granted a miraculous answer.  Were you surprised?  Honestly, I want to answer, 'of course not', but irreconcilable marriages have been saved, unthinkable circumstances untangled, undeserved forgiveness given freely, friendships  beyond damaged not only salvaged, but renewed, humble repentance of the hardest heart.  None possible in earthly understanding or fix-ability.  Only God.

Trying to adjust my own thinking to always praying as Paul reminded the Ephesians: 

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

Studying through this scripture, I pulled up The Message paraphrase and read the verses surrounding 18.  It reads as follows:

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  Ephesians 6:13-18

So, friends, would you commit with me to pray hard and long - if you haven't  tried early in the morning, just like Jesus... maybe try it - just a few minutes earlier out of bed, praying for others, praying for decisions, praying for strength, praying His will to be done... through us as we seek Him first.

Oh friends, even now, I'm changing my own verbiage... No, I won't just pray for you... Yes, I MUST pray for you.  What a privilege...

The words of the precious hymn below offer sweet reminders... 

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Written by Charles Crozat Converse, Joseph Scriven • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

1 comment

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