Are You Always Looking for Ways to Pray for Family and Friends?
My friend Lee has been struggling for about a decade with a degenerative illness. The disease has robbed him of his strength, mobility, and most of his independence. So, when I saw the email from his wife, my heart sank.
The subject simply read: “Prayer.”
I assumed the worst
I immediately braced for the bad news. Perhaps Lee had taken a turn for the worse, and Melissa was rallying the troops to assemble before God on her husband’s behalf. I prepared to hit my knees.
One thing I’d forgotten. This couple shares the same email account. The email wasn’t from her it was from him. And, it wasn’t seeking prayer, it was offering it. I stopped mid-kneel (which, for me, is way below average height).
My own lovely wife has been walking through some significant physical challenges lately. Lee had learned of them through a friend. In the email, he wondered if the story he’d heard about her was true.
Then, assuming it was, he said, “Just wanted to let you know April is being prayed for and if there is something specifically we may pray for her about, please let me know. Your brother in Christ, Lee.”
I felt like a loser
I paused and thought for a moment. When was the last time I prayed for Lee? Or his wife? Or their three cool kids? I almost felt a physical ache at the mercy, grace, and prayer support I have not provided to this tenacious and loving family.
And, I know the difference between unhealthy guilt and productive conviction. This was the latter. I was convicted of my indifference and selfishness. It reminded me of the many blessings I have, not the least of which is the ability to go before the throne of God on someone’s behalf.
I wondered how I might do it
If I were in his shoes, my email might go something like, “Hey, I heard your wife has been sick. I’ll pray for her. Meanwhile, feel free to thank your lucky stars she’s not as bad off as I am. If she wants to trade problems, have her call me. I’ll gladly give her a seminar on real suffering. Oh, and stop by some time and bring me a Café Latte, why don’t you?”
OK, I would probably not put that stuff in an email. Probably.
In the end, it made me realize that no matter how difficult my life gets, I can always listen for the needs of others and offer to pray for them. And, no matter how busy my life as a father gets, I’m never too busy to pay attention.
And I was again reminded of the kind and compassionate disposition of a loving father whose walk with Christ is powerful and contagious.
So, what about you? Who do you need to pray for today?
Are you too bad off? I bet not.
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