Prayer. It has come up a lot lately. In conversations. In thoughts. In my quiet time with God. You might recall a few blogs ago where I mentioned my new commitment to prayer: I will not agree to pray with someone unless I am willing to actually do it. ASAP.
This has just weighed so heavy on me recently. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have stated, “I’ll pray for you” or replied, “yes, I will” when someone asked if I would. We use those terms so loosely in The Church, Christian circles, or just in general. It has become a term of endearment, not a moment of action. In the same manner, when we say “just keep me in your prayers”, are we truly wanting someone to actually pray for us or just think about us?
With all that being said, I have been doing some serious reflection. Am I who I say I am? Do I do what I say I will do? The answer is, no. To be honest and transparent, I haven’t prayed for 3/4 of the situations I verbally agreed to or gave a Facebook thumbs up for. I haven’t prayed for all the moments that I typed in a text, “praying for you” or all the world tragedies that I so quickly comment “praying for them”. I didn’t. I don’t even remember what, who, when, how, or why I agreed to pray for. Those moments are gone.
The sad reality is, in those moments, I possibly gave someone a false hope that I would deliver a promise of joining with them in petitioning to my Father that their needs be met. I am sorry friends; my sincerest apologies for not following through. As this has laid so heavy on me for months now, I have had several interesting opportunities in the past week. A friend texted “pray for me about (fill in the blank)”, and so I texted back a prayer. A facebook friend asked her social media circle to pray for a difficult situation, and so I literally typed out a prayer in the comments. And yet another friend asked me to pray for her father who would be going through medical procedures soon. I responded with, “let’s pray right now”. I will never forget the look in her eyes. Hope. I didn’t do that, God did. I just honored my commitment to her and my relationship with my Father.
However, I am not perfect. In the middle of all those moments of praying, I lost an opportunity. I knew in the moment what I was supposed to do, and I didn’t. I ignored it. I ignored the pressing of the Holy Spirit on my heart, and the plea from my friend for prayer. My response was the typical, “definitely. I will pray for you”, and then I drove away. For the next hour I simply could not ignore that still small voice. That deep soul burden. I did the only thing I could, I prayed. Then I sent her a message apologizing that my prayer was delayed.
Friends, I don’t share my stories to make you think I am great. I don’t share my stories to uplift myself. I don’t share my stories because I enjoy writing all my faults for everyone to read. I share my stories in deep hope that something I have written will jump off your screen and inspire you to step closer to Christ and deeper in love with Him. Through all my faults, errors, imperfections, screw-ups, failures, sadness, triumphs, laughter, giggles, tears, and joy, I PRAY that Christ becomes more and more alive for you. Whoever you are, that is my prayer.
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles in prayer commitments? If so, thanks for allowing me to share my heart. If you also struggle, I encourage you to start honoring your commitments. I honestly believe in the power of prayer. I also believe in living a life of integrity and being honorable in my language and life. If I truly want to be a vessel for God and an agent of change, then I have to step up my game. No more floundering around and not keeping my promise. Anyone want to rise up and seriously pray when we say so? I can’t imagine there is anything greater than spending more time talking to God?
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:15)
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:12)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)