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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why I don't say 'I'll pray for you'.... often

Lately I feel like my lack of discipline in prayer has become obvious - and obviously in need of change.  I have never been one to cozy up to the word, or the thought of any discipline.  Prayer - a discipline of prayer?  Really?  If prayer is talking to God, and something I do all the time basically, why did I need to grow in this discipline?

Well, because so many people have come into my path that undeniably need me to intercede for them.  The Prophet Samuel said, "Far be it from me to sin by failing to pray for you."  This has always bothered me somewhat.  It has convicted me.  Challenged me.  But come up short of changing me.

But as others have come onto the horizon of my life and I see the battles they face, as I grieve for them, hurt with them, worry for them, I realize in many cases my only option is to be dilligent in prayer.  And so I will be.

But I hate to say, "I'll pray for you."  Because it sounds trite, a smidgen of hopefulness, a wee thought - it seems to mean little...  But sometimes it's all I can do.

The other reason I don't like to say that is because I don't promise much of anything to anyone.  Okay, I promised stuff in my wedding vows.  But beyond that...not much.  I realize how fickle I am.  I know I fail to follow through on things - a LOT.  So I can't stand racking up guilt on myself for promising to pray for someone, and then not.  And then I don't go for token prayers like, "Please take care of so-and-so's issue.  Thanks Lord, Amen."  No, for me that is not prayer.

I much prefer to tell people after I have prayed for them.  And I also have come on a journey of seeing how integral prayer is in my own life.  I kept having these things I'd just naturally pray about - especially concerning other people, and amazingly I'd see so many things answered.  If I shared them here I might be telling other people's stories - but all I can say is I was shocked.  I think I've struggled with prayer because I think, "What good will it do?"  I am weak in faith and wonder if my prayers make a difference.  Don't we all feel that way at times?

So, I have begun to grow in my discipline of prayer - naturally - not the 'grit-my-teeth-and-buckle-down' kind of growth.  (That kind has never worked for me - if it has for you, well, great).  I have become burdened for many needs lately - and felt the very least I can do is to take these heartaches, burdens, concerns and desires to the throneroom of grace, and find mercy to help - not only me - but others - in their time of need.

I never was a list kind of person.  I just would tell God how this or that person needed Him in some way.  But I am so forgetful.  So I threw together a list.  And I put each one of these requests into my phone to remind me throughout the day who I need to pray for.

I have 5 children and a Mother-in-Law.  I do school runs - multiple times a day.  I drown in laundry.  But I have time to pray.

Don't you?

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