Through the last year, the topic of prayer keeps circling back around to me. I have learned when that happens, I need to pay attention because God is wanting to teach me.
I am a little dull to learning at times, so He has to keep bringing it up again and again.
Today, a powerful concept of prayer dawned on me, and it began with 6 simple words.
"How can I pray for you?"
That simple question sparked a fire in me that I hadn't realized was a smoldering smoke, on the brink of dying.
When I was asked that, a hundred answers came to mind because I wrestle with a hundred circumstances a day that I feel could use the power of prayer from more than just my own voice. There is power in prayer.
But, I defaulted to a generic answer, which was still important to me, but one asking prayer for someone close to me. The request was relevant, but not my own issue.
I dwelt on that for about an hour before going back to that person and asking if I could share on a more personal level for prayer. The reply I received was "I'd be honored" which was once again a humbling response to me.
Truthfully, I can't remember the last time someone asked me how they could pray for me. It has been a while.
We are made to pray for one another, but in the course of contemplating this, it dawned on me because it meant so much to me to have that asked, that I so rarely ask others how I can pray for them. I am eager to talk about what's happening in my life and quick to share what I need prayer for, but how often do I really ask others "How can I pray for you?"
It takes one minute to ask and maybe a few minutes to listen, and we pray to and talk with an all-powerful God who is ready and waiting for us to sit at His feet and talk to Him.
About hurts and fears and dreams and hopes and desires.
He wants to hear it all.
But so often a quick whispered word is all we utter.
That very simple question asked to me this morning has sat with me in a powerful way all day. I need to be asking others that question more often because honestly, it meant more than I can explain to have been asked. I felt like I mattered and I felt like I was cared about and that someone wanted to really listen to me and take time to go to God on my behalf. It's not a thing of "all I can do is pray" but it becomes "the best thing I can offer is to pray for you"
I feel convicted to raise this question to others more often.
That being said, I have watched God do amazing things through prayer over the last year, especially in my own life. He has completely remolded me and is reshaping me to be the woman He has always designed me to be. The woman who got a little lost for a while, but God had the grace and the patience to wait for me to come back. And much of that is due to prayer.
I have watched Him supply needs in amazing ways.
I have been transformed to see myself differently through prayer.
Through prayer He helps me fight depression and anxiety.
Through prayer I was able to experience Colombia and reignite my passion for mission.
Through prayer.... all things are possible.
Prayer is an amazing, underused tool in our walks with God.
No, He is not a genie in a bottle. He won't answer every request we bring to Him.
Sometimes, His answer is to wait and we are required to pray for years even. It's those moments, those requests, that I often need someone's help with because I don't have the energy to keep it up all the time on my own.
Sometimes His answer is no. We don't always know why, but He can use those "no's" to transform us if we allow Him to do so.
And sometimes the answer is a resounding yes.
I have begun to keep a prayer journal and it amazes me to read back over those hand-written letters to God and see how God has answered them. Or it reminds me to keep pressing forward with a cry from my heart, even if it seems unanswered.
I wonder if we don't ask the simple question to others because we are afraid to be vulnerable?
Or maybe we don't ask it because we feel rushed and hurried and that we don't have the time to stop and listen.
Still perhaps we fear we might offend someone by asking the question.
Regardless, the moment convicted me, all the while completely encouraging me. We take prayer for granted. I hope to grow more diligent in awareness of the power of prayer.
One day at a time.