According to Oxford dictionary the definition of prayer is, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God.” I’ve also read, “In the Bible prayer is worship that includes all the attitudes of the human spirit in its approach to God…This highest activity of which the human spirit is capable may also be thought of as communion with God, so long as due emphasis is laid upon divine initiative. A man prays because God has already touched his spirit.”
A man prays because God has already touched his spirit. When someone asks you to pray for them the Spirit has moved, and is stirring your spirit to respond. A request for prayer is not random, coincidental, lucky (or to some unlucky), it is not an obligation, or chore, it is a divine appointment. Knowing this, why are we hesitant about responding?
We’ll say, “I’ll remember you in my prayers (later)”, “I’ll be praying for you (later)”, “I’ll lift up you and your family, situation, struggle, etc., (later)”. Then we go on about our business, hoping to remember to pray for them the next time we make time, to go before the Lord. The best way to remember what you have to do, is to do it before you have a chance to forget it. When someone asks us to pray for them, it is the Holy Spirit moving them, and giving us the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to that person, in that moment.
Don’t waste this precious gift of appointed by the Spirit, that is practiced by the Son, and glorifies the Father. Every time someone asks for you to pray for them, they are placing their hearts in your hands. Clasp it tightly, weave your fingers together, and bring them before God in that very moment. Honor the movement of the Spirit in your life and do what Jesus would do.
How many times have you told someone you would pray for them, to later forget. I know, life gets busy, we get distracted, there are a dozen reasons that we can give, it’s happened to most of us. We need to believe that those moments are precious gifts. They are Spirit lead appointments that were (are) orchestrated for us to demonstrate the Father’s love for others.
Recently I have been walking with a family through the worst of times, they were losing a child. This young man was one of the teens from my youth group for years. I had gotten to know this young man and his younger brother, my heart was broken for them. There was nothing I could do to fix, repair, replace, restore their hearts. All I could do was pray.
A couple weeks ago I received a call, “Pastor Betsy, please come!” I went. Walking into the hospital that day I knew what was awaiting me, I knew what was awaiting this family, as I had walked this road myself with our own daughter many years before. I prayed walking toward the building that the Holy Spirit would give me the strength to walk through the doors, the ability to speak life and love into their lives, to check my own emotions at the door and be fully present with them. And He did just that.
The Spirit moved that day, I was able to be there as a friend, pastor, and sister in Christ. This was a divine appointment, and although it was heart breaking, there was no other place I wanted to be. I had the Spirit appointed privilege to be present as this family prepared to say goodbye, and their son joined Jesus in eternity.
Every opportunity to lift up a person, a situation (which is almost always about people), is an opportunity to be Christ to someone, for someone, on behalf of someone. Jesus often went off to pray, (Matt 14:22-23). He demonstrates for us the importance of interceding with and for others, in Romans 8:31-39 we read that Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us. Jesus is He who is perfect but also knows fully what it means to be human. So, He is the perfect advocate for us to the Father. He intercedes for us continually (Hebrews 7:23-25).
What does this mean for us? It means that to be a disciple of Jesus Christ we ought to do what he does. Prayer is an opportunity for us to tangibly advocate and intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters. Prayer is an opportunity for us to be in relationship with our creator (that’s mind blowing in and of itself). God created the very voices we speak with, their tone, their resonance, their tenor, he wants to hear from you! It brings his heart joy when we come before him with our praise, with our fears, with our troubles, and especially on behalf of others.
He doesn’t care about fancy words, or pithy statements. He doesn’t care what language you speak. He doesn’t care where you are; in your car, shower, on your knees, in the middle of a shouting match with your kids. He wants to be an acknowledged presence in your life that you can turn too at any point in time.
I shared with you recently about my monthly dinner with some of my sisters in Christ and the wonderful conversation we had. At the end of that dinner, as the dining room was filling up, we didn’t actually notice we were so engrossed in our conversation, we prayed. Each one of us, praying over the others, about what we shared, to know Jesus more, to grow in his grace and love. We prayed, and we called on his name, and when we were done, we noticed that this little dining room had gone quiet. People who had been waiting for us to leave so they could sit, just stared. We apologized for taking so long as we quickly gathered our things, “no don’t rush on our behalf, really we can wait till you’re done.”
Prayer also changes those around you. When others see you stopping your life to lift up a brother or sister to the hands of the Father, they take notice, they take account, they get convicted, seeds are planted, and they are changed.
Prayer is a privilege, a divine appointment orchestrated by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of many. Don’t miss your opportunities to partake of God’s Sovereign plan for your life and the lives of those around you.
Please help me share the good news of Jesus and how He can change your life, and our world!
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One thought on “Prayer is a Privilege”
Thank you for sharing today
Wisdom and faith shine through you
And give me strength