It’s a hard knock life. Didn’t Annie say that? Or her little orphan friends? I don’t really remember watching any of the Annie movies or whatever, but I do know the song. And, lately, I’ve been focusing on that lament. Wendy Williams (talk show host) often says, “It’s hard out here in these streets.” And she isn’t kidding.
On a daily basis, I frequently see prayer requests via social media for people who are suffering, grieving, or just simply tired. My friend Roberta calls Facebook the “biggest prayer circle ever.” I’ve been asking frequently myself for prayer. Sometimes I feel the results and, sometimes, God makes me wait a bit longer.
Mostly it’s people who are having surgeries or physical ailments. That’s been my laments recently (this durn hip). Or for grieving loved ones. I’ve had this, too. I still am grieving over Max and I feel dumb about it, but he was obviously a bigger part of my life than I’d realized.
But you know what I love best about asking for prayer? It’s not the actual responses that people will pray (although that is pretty cool). It’s that people sometimes ask me for prayer back. Why does this make me so happy? Because it let’s me know I’m not alone. And it makes me aware of how much people need God right now. AND it makes me happy that people KNOW they NEED God. (PS – even friends who don’t consider themselves “Christians” have asked for prayer or “good thoughts.”) AND it makes my own fears, concerns, grief and struggles seem less insurmountable.
This morning, I was just free-praying. You know, as I’m walking around my house, doing a few chores, picking up a few things, refolding the afghan on the couch…I started talking to God.
“Dear heavenly Father, who needs my prayers today? I thank you that my hip was better this morning and that I slept well. I’m thankful that I have a warm house to keep all this rain off my head.” Then I opened my phone and started browsing through Facebook. Some would think that’s where my prayers would end – I’d get caught up in the social media blah. But, no. I kept going. “Oh God, I see that Tina needs prayer for this person in her family today. Please guide the doctors and nurses for this surgery. And thank you that Bill is having such a good day. Oh! And Christine finally seems to be making some progress. Thank you, Lord, for that.”
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 NIV
As I continued to scroll, I simply paused at each person in my timeline and said a prayer. Simple ones mostly, but, hopefully, effective. Some of my friends are not Christian at all. And they don’t know I prayed for them this morning. But God heard my prayers nonetheless. He sees them and their struggles just as He sees me and mine. Prayers are not solely for the “righteous” – God’s love extends to everyone – all His children. All across the world.
So often we ask ourselves, “How could I possibly help this person? I don’t have a ton of money and I’m hurting myself…” But the one way we CAN help is to pray. Consider Paul’s words:
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:16-21 NIV
This morning I didn’t get my “structured Bible study” done, but I did pray. And I ask you to endeavor to pray every day, too. Pray for your blessings and for your needs. Pray for your neighbor whether you know them or not. Pray whether you like them or not! Because, when your own struggles seem to overwhelm you, when you pray for others, you step outside of yourself and put your own worries to rest – if even for a minute.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15 NIV
God bless and Happy Monday!