I’m sitting here on a Sunday morning, in a quiet house (not sure the last time that entire statement was true). I’m harmonizing with Pandora and blogging instead of going to church. What’s your favorite Pandora station? Mine, without a doubt, is “DC Talk Radio”. “My Will” is playing right now, and even though I disagree with one of the lines, it’s one of those songs that makes me drop everything and sing (and light a lighter and sway it high, if you must know). I don’t have a way to church this morning, so don’t think my pink hair has made me a heathen!
My family needs prayer, y’all. I’m scared, and I trust, and I’m scared, and I trust. Hopefully you know that I mostly trust, but life is scary; He knows that. Life has barely given Papa Bear and I a chance, and we are struggling. I know I haven’t blogged anything resembling that, but I can only blog from my view and my faith. I’m not going to go into any details, but I can’t imagine building a relationship under these circumstances let alone healing one. I’m still crying out to God. I think something must be worth saving, here. Something is certainly worth attacking. I know that’s a bomb to drop after all these months, but I know I can count on your respect for my privacy and your prayers.
Speaking of prayer, a few days ago Papa Bear was having trouble at work and I asked the kids to say a prayer for him. It was one of those moments where everyone was scattered and dirt covered, and I didn’t sit us down to pray (I just passed the word). About an hour later, I asked Cuddle Bug, “Did you say a prayer for daddy’s work day?”
She nodded sheepishly that she had.
Oh, but I knew that she hadn’t!
I didn’t ask to catch her in a lie, I just knew she was lying once the words were loosed. And it made me think of…me.
If I’m going to tell you how I do things right, now, it’s only fair to admit my failings. Cause everyone asks for prayer like I did just a few lines ago. And as Christians, our knee-jerk reaction is to say (or to comment on Facebook), “Praying!” or “I’ll be praying,” or something else that might end up (accidentally) being a lie.
It’s not that we think, “I’ll let them think I’m praying so that I look good, but I don’t really believe my prayers affect things, anyway. So, mostly I’m just offering moral support.”
A spiritual placebo?
At least, I hope not!
I think that when we promise to pray, it’s because the moment and the situation move us to act, and we do feel that our prayers are needed and necessary. But is saying, “I’ll be praying!” ever an over-promise for you? Because I’ve talked to many of you about this, I know that it is.
I’ve blogged this before, long ago, but it’s been on my heart again. I hope it might free some of you from bondage. Because if someone asks for prayer, and you don’t feel a burden to pray, it might be something you need to press through, or it might not be yours to carry (to Jesus). I just asked for prayer knowing that not everyone who reads this will be burdened to pray for me. I think that by paying attention to those urgings of the Holy Spirit, we can more effectively fight the battles we are called to fight (both spiritually and physically). We’re always most effective when we’re focused instead of trying to save the entire world.
If you do feel led to pray, stop and pray. The burden might return to you later, but don’t trust that it will. Some of you war in prayer like I do, and it’s not natural for you to pray something less than ten minutes long or sans tears. I get it. But we’re the ones who might more easily forget to pray because we’re waiting for our prayer closet and a full box of tissues.
The next time you’re led to offer prayer, simply stop, wherever you are, and pray. And if you’re with the person asking for prayer, don’t say, “Oh, I’ll sure be praying!” Pray with them, right then and there. If they feel comfortable enough to tell you their problem, chances are they’ll welcome your awkward, in-person prayers. And I promise, God will use even the simplest, spur of the moment prayer. He doesn’t need a lot from us, just our obedience.
And if you’re obedient, when the victory comes and your loved one says, “Thank you so much to everyone who was praying!” you won’t have to mutter…