Yes–in the back, there, in the green plaid polo. Question?
“Yeah, I’ve been reading in the Gospels during Lent like you once suggested, and in Luke 18:1 it says Jesus told the guys following him a story to show they needed to always pray and never stop. How? What if you run out of stuff to pray about?”
Sometimes with radio or cell phone reception, you need to climb higher for it to have better reception of the signal. I began thinking about how Romans 8:34 says Jesus is interceding – praying – for all of us.
You. Me. Him. Her. That kid over there on the skateboard. All of us.
Considering what Ephesians 1 says about God having raised Jesus not just from being dead, but way high above every other rule and dominion and authority, He must consider praying for us to be vital.
So I asked myself what praying must look like from where He is, considering that God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – can see everything all the time . . .
Then I remembered hearing an older Christian say, “Pray the news.” It was years ago, before the current 24/7 news overload. If it made sense then, it makes more now. Running low on things about which to pray? Turn on your TV or radio and you’ll never run out of requests.
I have a suggestion, though, that you may find more useful. Pray around yourself, beginning close-in with your own family. Then pray in an ever-widening spiral of grace that embraces others around you. There are things happening right around you every day – at home, at work, shopping, running errands . . . Every day. All around you.
Marissa, 12 or 13, lived until just recently three doors west of us. The eldest of a constantly-changing group of ‘foster-care’ children, I observed her often as not serving as ‘Mom’ to 5 or 6 smaller children while the adults siphoning up state money were in or off doing who-knows-what. Marissa was sent around the neighborhood begging food, yard tools, etc. I could tell it embarrassed her, but I’m sure she was threatened if she didn’t make the effort. Police had been down there almost every week over something. Not a good environment in which to grow up.
Point? Marissa’s gone. They somehow gathered up their stuff and disappeared during the night.
Item 1: I pray for Marissa; and for all those like her. God sees, knows, and loves.
I’m an old hospital chaplain. Any time I hear sirens, it’s automatic.
Item 2: “God, please overshadow both the one whose life or health is threatened, and those speeding to help them. Protect everyone concerned.”
How about pulling around somebody whose vehicle has stalled in traffic? At an intersection? In a turn lane?
Item 3: “Lord, help her get that car started. Help him figure out what’s wrong and get him back on the road, God. I’ve been there. I know what that feels like. Help them, watch over and protect them, and get them safely wherever they’re going.”
. . . and multiplied thousands of things just like those.
As you’ve been reading, I’m certain a couple of things you noticed today have popped up on your prayer radar. Go with it. Stop reading this and pay attention: God’s entrusting you with your own spiral of grace. Let your spiral expand out into Facebook land to extended family, to old high school friends you may never again see. And you know? It’s not nearly as important to trumpet to the known world that you’ve prayed. Just DO the praying. Leave the glory and the credit in God’s hands. You and He will know.
Get at it. It not only becomes a habit; it opens your eyes to what’s happening around you, making you more appreciative of the blessings God lavishes on you.
And who knows who all might be praying for you? The more of this we do for one another, the more we are partnering with God, freeing Him to bring into play the absolutely limitless, inexhaustible resources available to Him – when we simply do as Jesus directed:
© D. Dean Boone, March 2015