Philippians 4:13-14 ” I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. ” NIV
I have had one of those weeks where you just can’t put your finger on it but things just aren’t clicking into place. I realized tonight that I have been struggling a bit with the fringes of depression again. It is interesting because once you have been in the darkness of depression, it’s easy to see how quickly you can fall back into the old traps that got you there.
One of the things I love most about my new way of life is that I am able to be a prayer warrior for my friends and family. Even more so, I get to pray for women who I have only met through the words on a page. While it is a privilege to pray for others, it’s also a commandment from my Abba. In John 13:34 Christ tells us that we must love one another just as He loved us. Christ prayed for his disciples daily. He prayed for all of the people He taught. He prayed for guidance and for wisdom from His Father. He prayed for strength and courage. He taught us How to pray. He taught us how to pray for others.
Prayer should be more than just a quick dip to my knees in the morning and right before I go to bed. It should be a constant communication with God all during the day. This is not an easy task for me. I get so caught up in work and family and my “list” that I sort of skim through what God needs from me sometimes. My Abba had been whispering a request to me all week and I kept putting it off. Yesterday He basically yelled it at me and I finally stopped long enough to listen. But not before I lost valuable time and perhaps moments that I could have been doing something that might have made a difference.
I let myself get caught up in the details of the prayer needs and in trying to figure out how “I” could fix things. How “I” could make it better. What “I” could do that would make the person see how much “I” was doing.
Abba finally got tired of watching me go around in circles and He smacked me upside the head tonight. (A southern thing. It’s not about violence. It’s about knocking some sense into me) When my sisters need my prayers, they need me to humble myself before God and be a prayer warrior not a prayer actress. It’s not about who knows I am praying or how hard I pray or the words I use. I am not required to fix the pain nor am I required to carry the pain. All my Abba wants me to do is open myself up to hear what HE wants me to do. What words HE wants me to say. What actions HE wants me to take. I may not have to do anything more than just pray. I may never have to leave my house, pick up my phone, or write a word about it. What my sisters need is an honest, heartfelt prayer that stays in my soul all the day long. A prayer that rises up from me to God FOR them. God never asked “me” to take away their pain. He only asked me to pray for them to feel His love and compassion. He asked me to pray for their needs to be taken care of by Him.
Now that being said, He may have something that He wants me to do for them. But I can’t hear what “that” is unless I am praying and then listening. If I go to my Abba with what I am “going to do” and then jump in the car and do it, I have probably bypassed whatever it was He intended for me to do. More often than not, if I take things into my own hands, I just make a big hash out of things. And, in spite of my best intentions, (which of course the road to hell is paved with) I usually end up doing something completely unneeded. And sometimes even unwanted.
Tonight I am humbled by His continuing patience with me. I am so glad He doesn’t give up on me. I am glad that He lets me get back up and try again. I am glad that He never lets me forget that He loves me so very much. I am even more glad that He hears my prayers and knows what I want to say even when the words get all jumbled up in my head and the tears get in the way. When I am praying for a friend and He knows that I hurt for them, He takes away that hurt and replaces it with peace. He says He will never give us more than we can bear. I truly believe that is because when we can’t stand on our own for even one more minute, He gives us sisters and friends to hold us up and carry us along. If I can’t stand beside you physically, I can stand beside you mentally and I can pray with you from halfway around the world. You may be my very best friend or just a name passed along on a prayer list. Either way, our Abba hears the heartfelt prayers said on your behalf. Let us all be mindful of those who need our prayers. Around the corner, the block, the country or the world, we are all just a prayer away from each other.