During my walk of faith, I have been asked, “Why do people tell me they are praying for me?” That is a wonderful question which God and I have been talking about this morning.
This morning, while having my 186 ounce cup of coffee, I heard a familiar “ding” and knew someone had just sent an email. My heart was touched when I read the first paragraph. A close friend wrote to let me know she was praying for me. At that moment!
When I walked away from faith, the above paragraph would have been read and met with a feeling of “that’s nice” or “why bother?” When I walked away from faith, I walked away from prayer. Why pray when I was walking in the opposite direction of where God was patiently waiting for me?
Now, I understand. God heard that prayer. About me and for me.
This is so important for us to understand: God hears every prayer!
In the last couple of days in the comments, Deanna has asked us to pray for her. I have never met Deanna. She is now on my prayer list.
re comments: I always am awemazed how comments “complete” a post or inspire us to consider things on a deeper level. Thank you for your comments! I am always humbled that you take the time to read this blog when there are thousands more to choose from.
Ok, back to prayer and that great question! I believe I can answer this because I spent many years away from God. As a gentle witness, it is important for us to let people know we are praying for them. Ken and Sandy prayed for me for years before I took that unsure step into their church. After returning to faith, it is now easy for me to see and appreciate why they never gave up on praying. They never gave up on praying because they never gave up on me! They also, in a very gentle way, let me know they were praying for me!
Perhaps, a good reply to the opening question: “That’s a really good question, can you tell me a little more about why you wonder about that ?” Then, listen. Then, listen some more. Only then, gently share your walk of faith and let them know you can understand and appreciate their question. Accept them, exactly where they happen to be.
So many people have been turned away, simply by asking faith questions and then being blasted with what I call the “Bible verse gatling gun”. When we share our walk of faith (after listening), it’s ok to refer to a favorite Bible verse that would be helpful.
I am learning more about prayer from Deanna. Since this post is about prayer, I believe we can also consider our communal prayers. Often times, in my writing, I will ask us to communally pray (in many cases, for our pastors and ministers)for someone or a group of people.
Trust in this: if there is power in singular prayer, think about what happens when we communally pray! God hears every prayer. From every little child. From a person in their final moments. And from each of us!
My prayer for us today is to talk with God about prayer. Talk with God about the people in your life who need prayer. Who need prayer today. Who need prayer this second. Talk with God about how to be a gentle witness and ask for guidance. How does God want you to reach out? Someone you know is in need of prayer today!
“Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is a key that opens God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus, not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually on certain occasions, you should speak only with your heart.”
– St. Padre Pio