Saturday, June 07, 2008

When I Pray

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Eph 6:18 (MSG)

I can still remember the first time I prayed out loud. I was sitting in a prayer meeting at Bethesda Baptist Church in Macon, GA. I was in the approved section which contained all the Clinards and those related by marriage. My father and mother in law were there, my brother and sister in law were there sitting right behind us. The deacon who was handling prayer that evening turned to our side and asked "David, would you pray?"

Knowing that it must be for David Clinard, (my brother in law) not in any way thinking it could possibly be for David Wilson, I bowed my head and it got quiet. Too quiet for their taste I guess. My brother in love finally asked "which David?" and the reply was "David Wilson."


Just to set the scene, I hadn't been following Jesus all that long back then. And this was a church where when people prayed, they prayed in such a manner that you expected God to answer... right then. Against the eloquence and passion that they brought every week, I had maybe a decent mumble. That is, if I could get my throat to open back up.

Somehow I got through it.

And you know, at the time, I had yet to really understand what struggles those ordinary people around me were under. Now, after having both experiencing some of those myself, and being privy to those inside a congregation, I pray so differently. Something like...

Oh Lord, Help.

I open the church directory and I look at the faces and I know some of the hurts and I ask God to let me bear some of that burden. I ask Him to let us as a community of believers at New Hope to share some of their pain. I acknowledge what He already knows - that I cannot fix it. That we can't fix it. That only He can.

When I pray.

Friends, will you stop for a moment and realize that Almighty God hears your prayers? And that He doesn't just hear them like we hear other people. He hears our hearts and knows our needs. And He acts out of His love for us.

So let's pray. Let's lift each other up. Let's rejoice that God has placed us in Christ and lets us have a part in His plan to bring others to faith.

We can pray.

Grace and peace,


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