Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sure I'll pray for you. But...

Prayer hasn't been one of my strongest attributes.

I get a lot of prayer requests - so many people are hurting, whether physically, mentally or spiritually, or some combination of those. I have to admit: I get lazy sometimes. I'll say some quick "meet all their needs" prayer, without really listening to the Holy Spirit's prompting, and then not think about it again. I know God knows what each person needs, but when I say I'm going to pray about something, I should do it, wholeheartedly.

So I made some changes recently.

It's so easy to get into the habit of writing down the prayer requests from people and simply asking God to answer their specific request. Would that be wrong? No. It's what they asked for. But I find lately that it isn't enough. Sometimes, what someone is asking for isn't what they really need. If you ask for healing in your body, I may also pray for healing in your spirit. If you ask for success in your job, I may also pray for a deeper relationship with the Father so that the success of this world is not what you seek after. If you ask for clarity, I may also pray that you will trust God has a plan and wants you to be a part of it. If you ask for your circumstances to be changed, I may also pray that you be changed from the inside out and that you become a catalyst to change your environment. "We cry out to God and ask Him to heal our land, to heal our circumstances, to heal our finances. But before He can do any of that, He must heal our hearts." -Adam Cooke

Let me clarify that I do not suggest to know what someone needs.
But the Holy Spirit does. And it's important to remember to listen for His guidance as we pray, both for ourselves and for others.

Sometimes, it would bother me when I would hear (or see online) one ask for prayer, and another respond, "I prayed for you", or my favorite "Done". Now that done is not a "consider it done" but a "I did, now on to my next task". Then I remembered, I do that. When we ask, we should continue to ask, like this, or like this. Paul tell us to pray continually.

I was at work a couple of weeks ago and I had just turned on some music. A song I hadn't heard in a while came on called Pray by Kendall Payne. I remember this song challenging me when I first heard it. Right after it started, I got a text message:
As I listened to the words of the song, I prayed for my friend. It didn't matter that I didn't know what they needed. It didn't matter that I wasn't with them to help them get through whatever they were experiencing. They didn't need me. They needed a touch from the Father. So I prayed. And I kept praying.

Check out these words.
by Kendall Payne

I will pray for you now, for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn't not ask for more than what you've already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me

May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall, come crashing down around your feet

May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater every stride
May your company be of human insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride

What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the One who made us
And see Him smile when life is through

May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they'd be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see

May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you'd learn to trust the plan He has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true

I have prayed for you now all my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could ever speak
As the way wanders on I'll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?

Oh, that you would pray for me

So, go ahead. Ask me to pray for you.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the inspiring words and those powerful lyrics.....I too am guilty for using the "blanket" prayer response.