Are you praying for someone?

praying

by Heather Spring {Gilion}

I’ve heard some of the saddest stories lately. The kind of suffering that you can barely say aloud. I know it’s nothing new that people are hurting… but sometimes the tragic experiences of another leave me in a heap emotionally. A father taking his life while his family is in the home. A toddler raped and now in the arms of Jesus. A grieving widow giving birth to her child without her husband by her side. A friend I’ve spent years praying for, hearing his cancer is growing… again. A dear friend of mine endured a mastectomy. My phone alerting me that there’s an AMBER ALERT nearby. Another email from a widow… and then another. An acquaintance reaching out because she’s walking through a divorce.

I pray.
Or I want to.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say.
I just sit there, teary, saying, “I don’t even know where to begin, Lord.”
I feel like my words can’t say what I want to say.
My words aren’t adequate. “Am I even making sense, God?”

That’s when I feel the groaning in my soul. The words that are beyond me, rising to the One who hears even the deep aches that I can’t put into words.

There’s a real, physical pressure in my chest. My heart seems to weigh too much for my chest to carry.

Sympathy and empathy can be heavy. We “feel” another’s pain, at least a portion of it.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” {Gal. 6:2 ESV}

In my own life I have walked through a season of unbearable pain. For those of you who know me, this is old news, but losing my dad and my sister and I losing our husbands all in the same year almost killed me. But let me tell you, I am a walking testimony of the power of prayer. Family, friends, and strangers wept over my pain. Strangers carried my burdens. Acquaintances dropped to their knees for me. For me?! Family and friends offered up wordless prayers to the One, and ONLY One, that could care for my heart in the darkest season in my life, to date. Thirteen years later, I continue to meet people that “heard” of my story and prayed for me! It’s a very humbling thing to meet a stranger that was so moved by your pain that it drove them to their knees on your behalf. I’m alive today, in part, because of the prayers of others. I’m grateful for the body of Christ that stretches across state lines and oceans to love one another in this way. That is truly a picture of God in us.

Oh, empathy. You are a part of me now. I accept the role you play in my life. I’ll take the weight that pushes down upon my chest, as it reminds me to bow before the cross. Prayer seems like such a small thing, but it’s not. We may say it flippantly, “I’ll be praying for you.” Or comment on someone’s FB status, “I’m praying!” As trite and overused as those words may sound, prayer is probably the sweetest gift you can give to the hurting.

When I hear stories of heartache and brokenness, may I kneel before my God and lay these burdens at His feet. It’s on my knees that I’m reminded of my position in this life—I am not the Messiah. I am not in control and I cannot fix people. I cannot protect others from getting that phone call or that knock on the door, but I can join into their upward groans. I can speak to God on another’s behalf. And with full assurance, even as the tears stream down my cheeks, hope rises. Because I know He is more than enough.

“My God, my hope is anchored in You. You alone are our prize. If we knew what You know, we would pray for these things in our lives. We would. If we understood how much You love us, we would trust You completely. For when we grope in the night, we will find You! And finding You, knowing You, experiencing You is what brings LIFE.

God, nothing happens outside of Your knowledge and Your care, may that not make us angry—but free. You are indeed sovereign and good. We may weep, but may we not lose heart, for in You we can find peace when all is chaos.

Lord, there are times You may seem far away, but You are as near as our skin. Closer still. We can breathe in strength for the moment… each moment. We can wail, we can grieve, and we can cry our little hearts out even for strangers and know YOU HEAR US! Even our wordless prayers. And the best part is, we’re not praying alone—You are praying too.”

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” {Romans 8:26 ESV}

“[Jesus] is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” {Romans 8: 34b ESV}

How can I pray for you today?

{A song for the grieving believer. Listen and be encouraged!}

_____________________________

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If you are curious about Jesus, go here.

To read more about the book Dancing On My Ashes, or to purchase the book, go here.

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