One of the best gifts we can give anyone is prayer. It doesn’t cost you much — just a little time if you’re willing to give it. I see challenges on Facebook for all sorts of things, but I never see a prayer challenge. So, that’s what the spirit is urging me to do today — to challenge each of you to pray for someone who needs it. Take a few minutes and think of someone close to home. We can effect change best with those who are closest to us — your child, a neighbor, or a colleague. It’s easy to pray for those we love, so consider praying for someone who isn’t easy to love — a former spouse, an abuser, an enemy.
Matthew 5:44 urges us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
That’s a tall order for most since some of us are so singularly focused on praying for things rather than each other. Perhaps you can start small with a prayer of thanksgiving.
Thank you for waking me up this morning and protecting me as I slept, Lord. I’m thankful to be alive and well. Please use me as you see fit.
Be careful what you pray for because you will get it. I’ve found that when I tell God to use me (which I do every day), he sends me places I wouldn’t ordinarily go on my own. My belief is that someone prayed for a particular thing — whether it was someone to listen to them, an extra set of hands, or a financial blessing, and he sent me. I’m honored to be his hands and feet.
Once you’ve prayed your simple prayer of thanksgiving, ask for forgiveness. We all sin, and we know those sins well. It’s important to note that asking for forgiveness and expecting it should remind us to forgive those who hurt us. That, too, is a tall order. If you say the Lord’s Prayer each day, you’re already petitioning God.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We memorize all those prayers when we’re little, but as we become more mature and grow in our faith, we should really take a closer look at what we’re doing to make sure that it matches what we’re saying. If we say we’re going to do something, we need to stand by our promises and do what we say we’re going to do.
I have a pet peeve, and it’s about prayer. When I see or hear the words I’m praying for you and your family when someone passes away or is going through a rough time, I wonder if that person actually takes the time to pray. Did she do what she said she was going to do? Of course, this isn’t my business. What is my business is what is within my control — doing what I said I would do. If I say I’m going to pray for you, rest assured it will happen. As mere humans, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for, but that shouldn’t prevent us from doing it.
So, here’s my challenge (and I urge you to share this message with everyone you know): Once you’ve prayed for yourself, your family, and forgiveness, please add at least one more person to your list. Perhaps you might pray for that person for a week. You might even add someone new each day. It doesn’t matter how you do it; just do it! Remember, it doesn’t cost you a thing, but the return on your prayer could literally save a life, and that’s priceless.