Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Privilege of Prayer


In the South, where I am from, saying - "I will pray for you" is a common way to escape a conversation that may have gotten too personal or too intense for our liking. Often when someone shares a problem to which we have no answer that little phrase "I will pray for you" is all we have to offer. Then, unfortunately, we often say a flippant prayer in passing so that our conscious doesn't get the best of us if we forget to pray for the person and there we go our deed is done. The problem is that we forget what a privilege it is to pray for someone and what a power prayer can be.

As people we tend to put up barriers around our personal lives. We would prefer to try to solve our own problems without involving others. I actually think this is counter to what God wants. I think he desires us to be as little kids, relying on Him like a child relies on his or her parents. That being said, I am the world's worst at doing just that, ie, trying to control everything, even though I really control nothing. So when a person lets his or her barriers down and asks us for a prayer it is a big deal. It often means that the person is so desperate and so broken that they have given up all earthly hope of an answer and are seeking a supernatural one instead. It is that very desperation that makes us uncomfortable in those types of conversations and the reason we often try to escape them any way we can, even if it means uttering that phrase "I will pray for you."

It would be a wonderful phrase if we would take their prayer request as seriously as they do. You see there is no greater privilege than prayer. There are several things a person needs to understand about praying for someone. The first thing to understand is just who we are praying to.

I haven't spoken with Barack O'Bama recently. Honestly, I couldn't if I wanted to. I doubt somehow that many kings or queens would return my call either. Donald Trump is not on my speed dial and Oprah Winfrey doesn't return my emails. For some reason it doesn't bother me though, because I have a direct line to the KING of KINGS. Romans 14:11 tells me that "Every knee will bow and every tongue confess" to my King. That means Barack, Donald, and Oprah too. It is all too easy for me to say a prayer from my bed, instead of kneeling, or to say a flippant prayer that falls off my tongue with such little sincerity and emotion that it disgusts me as soon as I say it. You see, the problem is that is it is GOD that I am praying to. He made the world I live on, He says "be still" and the waves are silenced, He says "arise" and the dead breath. That is an awesome contact for my contact list. It is an amazing awe-inspiring honor to be able to take my problems, and the problems of others before such majesty.

The second thing to remember about prayer is the power of prayer. I recently had been praying for a lady at the church I attend who had been diagnosed with cancer. She had a tumor in her stomach. She met the diagnosis with faith inspiring courage and didn't miss a day of church, not even the day she was diagnosed. So this past Sunday when she didn't make it to church it as alarming. The explanation that she was sicker than normal made its way to me through the grapevine. Prayers continued to go up for the lady and on Wednesday the most amazing thing happened - news that at her doctor's visit this week the tumor had "vanished." The doctor said he didn't understand what had happened. I do - its called a miracle. Prayer gives us a direct line to He who makes miracles happen. It wasn't me that made the miracle, I just had the privilege of witnessing it.

So let us all take our prayer life seriously. Let us remember who we are praying to. Let us remember the power of prayer. Let us understand the privilege of prayer. Let us take that little phrase "I will pray for you" seriously. God does.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful thing it is that we have a direct connection with our creator. Praise the Lord.
    Christian Woman

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