Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pray it Forward

Have you ever had a time in your life when you were going along your own merry way, and all of a sudden, wham! a friend's name bursts upon your conscience? And you think about them and think about them and think about them, and no matter what you do, you can't get them out of your mind?

I have. And sometimes, it's scary enough that it'll take my breath away. Other times, I am so very burdened for them, that I must keep them in my prayers until I feel better.

It's my firm belief that these times aren't coincidences.
These friends, these people, have been laid upon my heart for a reason. I may never know what that reason is, but it's my job to pray for them.

Sad woman

I look at these times as being blessed times. A time when I can come before my God and Saviour and ask Him to put His loving arms around my friend or acquaintance, and give them peace, protection, and comfort. Or whatever else it is that has been laid upon my heart regarding them.

See, being a Christian isn't a one man show. It's a network of people that believe like I do ~ that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, to bring dying and sinful mankind back to Him through salvation through His blood. It's a place where we can get these insider messages and we have the privilege to pray for them.

Why is prayer important, anyway? Oh my word, this is a question so many people ask, and yet it boggles my mind. Where else, and to Whom else, can you open your innermost thoughts, heartaches, discouragements, irritations, secret desires, and the list goes on, knowing you won't be gossiped about or slandered or stabbed in the back by someone? There's only one place that I know of.

At Jesus's feet, of course. Who else can I tell about my hateful attitude about the smelly dog or an unclean house? Or being gone All. The. Time. Or what about that secret sin or temptation that I'm facing at the moment? Or the battle that seems to go on forever and ever?

Now, let's look at the flip side. Have you ever had someone come to you and tell you that you've been on their heart and they've been thinking about? Do you have any idea what kind of a blessing that is? What a tremendous, awe-inspiring thought to know that God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, has asked someone in your spiritual family to go to battle for you in prayer?

I've been going through some pretty troubling times. Nothing that you would even see on the outside if you didn't know what to look for. But let me tell you, when temptation comes knocking, your biggest mistake is in thinking you can handle the situation yourself. Sometimes, things are too personal to talk about, or embarrassment has made you not want to reach out and ask a prayer warrior to pray for you because you don't want to tell them what's going on. I don't know of anyone that wants to face rejection, so we keep it to ourselves.

And that's when He lays you on someone else's heart. Because He's God and He can do that.
What a privilege it is to be a part of God's family. This dirty rotten sinner, who is by no means close to perfection, has been picked up and cleaned off because of His great love and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

So I urge you, next time you have someone's name put on your heart, next time you think suddenly of someone who has since been absent from your life for days, weeks, months, or years, pray for them.

It could mean the difference between falling into sin or being victorious over it. Trust me. I know.

This blog post is dedicated to those prayer warriors whom I know have been praying for me, and those that I know the Lord uses on a daily basis to intercede for His people. I love you and I thank you. I have felt the effects of your effectual, fervent prayer, and disaster has been averted because you hit your knees.

Kristi Burchfiel, you are an answer to prayer.
Darlene Shortridge, your unwavering faith is a blessing and an encouragement.
Beth Brubaker, your laughter and lightheartedness delivered when I needed it.

And to the rest who have been praying for me, I thank you. I praise God we're on the same team.

Amanda Stephan~Christian Author
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