It wasn’t the typical Sunday morning but I’m not quite sure what typical means some days. My sister was visiting and going with us to chapel service, her first in the recovery community. Hudson was leaving town immediately following the service and before I walked out of our house I had a message from a friend in another town asking our men to pray for JW.
As I set up the computer for the media another message flashed across my screen: please pray for JR’s wife and then the needs of another not asking for prayer but I knew it was needed.
Every week there are those sitting in silence, doubting prayer, wondering why theirs wasn’t answered or if they should even ask for prayer. We’ve all trivialized our problems because those of another sounds greater. We’ve sulked because we’re still waiting for the last 10 prayers to be answered and now we aren’t even sure we believe.
It stays in my mind, this woman of the faith who has never met one of the men she has asked to pray. She knows of their brokeness, of the reasons they’ve had to put humility aside and walk through our doors. She’s heard me tell the stories and these are the ones she wants to pray, for one they don’t know either.
My faith is shallow and impatient. It doesn’t wait long and its doubt comes quick. My faith reaches to people I know, I’ve seen their lives and heard their hearts and maybe, maybe, I’ll whisper my need to them.
I know these men and I know God and I know the broken are just the ones God uses to crash my arrogance and pride. I know he hears the hearts of those whose hearts beat for Him and nothing beats louder than a heart needing to be made new.
We prayed for the known and the unknown. Some are praying still. I don’t understand the mystery of prayer. I’m not too good at it, at least the way it seems it should be done. I hope I’m wrong about that. I hope I’m wrong that it needs to be always done on my knees in a quiet room with no distractions and no less than 10 minutes, preferably 15 minutes. Doesn’t that sound right?
You thank and praise, which seem the same to me but I heard someone say they’re different and you should include both in your prayers.
You admit and request and you wrap it all in gratitude and that I know it right because how can I not be grateful to the One who somehow holds it all.
Mostly I pray in spurts. In the moment as it comes to me like seeing a request on Facebook and sometimes I touch the screen and say a prayer. I know I’ll forget if I don’t say it just then.
I pray with my eyes open a lot because I’m driving or at my desk or someone comes to mind while I’m cooking. It always too little but God isn’t the one measuring prayers by word count or eyes closed.
I don’t know why she asked a group of strangers, men with addiction problems, to pray for her friend. I do know God has heard their prayers. I know her faith in God is why she asked and not her faith in people. I know her faith has helped strengthen mine.