I’ve never been the prayer warrior I want to be. I’ve gotten loads better and more dedicated to the act of praying through the years, but I’ve certainly got a long way to go.
But one thing I’ve seen in my relationship with Christ is He deeply impresses people onto my heart. Out of the blue, I’ll suddenly have someone’s name roll through my consciousness. Sometimes it’s someone I know, but more often than not…I don’t even recognize who it is. And stranger yet, it’s typically a first and last name. A very specific person.
Sometimes it’s an individual who as an outsider looking in, is pretty obvious to need prayer. Like the guy I saw a few weeks ago sleeping on the cold sidewalk beneath the overpass where I drove while running errands. It’s fairly obvious that something is going on in this young man’s life that needs prayer. Perhaps something as simple as food or shelter or a warm coat. Or maybe something deeper like healed relationships or known that he’s loved and of great value.
Other times though, it’s the man in the car next to me at the stoplight. Or the woman by my side on the treadmill. Or that individual whose cart just passed me at the grocery store. We can’t often see people’s hurts and struggles and fears. We’re so good at hiding them, aren’t we?
Their wounds and joys and circumstances are known to our Father and we need to do our best to remain in-tune to Him so when He prompts even a quick little prayer for someone, we are aligned with Him to feel that prompting.
I’m not saying I always get it, I’m sure there are hundreds of times every day where I’m so caught up in my own thoughts and busyness that I miss someone He would really like me to lift up in prayer. But I try. I often have the radio or Pandora off when I’m alone…I listen in the silence of the day. The shower, the car, the walk from the elliptical to the child-care area. Use those silences to listen to Christ’s promptings.
A few nights ago I had one of those dreams that lasts all night. I even woke up several times and went right back into the dream, which for me, never happens.
But I was seeing a woman kidnapped and sold into the sex trade. I experienced as an unnoticed bystander the horror that was now her life. And even in my dream, I felt God ask me to pray. I had a horrible time dragging myself out of bed that morning as I felt a deep connection to this young woman and two others that joined her horrible circumstance. Over and over in my mind and in my heart…even without yet being completely conscious and awake, I prayed the simple words, “Get them out. Lord…GET THEM OUT.” All morning, all day really…I prayed that simple prayer with intense fervor.
I don’t know if I was seeing someone’s actual story unfold. Perhaps it was simply God urging me to pray over this horrific form of slavery as a whole. But what I do know is that our Father asked me to pray.
And that I can do.
My prayers aren’t typically elegantly spoken. They’re not beautiful poetry that someone would listen to and think, “wow…she’s a magnificent prayer.” Instead, they’re simply from the heart.
They’re often quick and direct as I go about my tasks.
In my quiet time, I might have serene moments to sit and bask in the extreme privilege of talking with God. But in real-life, I’m running after kids and fixing lunch and wiping bottoms and helping with homework.
We remain close to Him in heart and mind and even in the chaos and busyness of the day, He knows we are here to be used for His glory.
It may seem like such a simple or little thing. But I assure you, it is the furthest thing from little. He does big, ginormous things when people pray. Believe it.
And believe you can be used to help it come to pass. Because you can. And you will.