|Photo image courtesy of Cathy Yeulet via 123rf.com|
How many times have you listened in sympathy to someone, replying, "I'll be praying for you"?
How many times have you cried out for help, asking others to say a prayer for YOU in a time of need?
We all do it. Even those less inclined to do so tend to at least ask for "positive thoughts when the going gets rough. As the saying goes, "There are no atheists in fox holes."
Yet, do we pray? If you had to measure as a percentage, how much do you actually follow through on praying for those you said you would? When you ask for prayer from others, how often are you actually joining them in prayer?
I have had the great privilege of having my prayer life stretched over the years. You can read about one such experience that I wrote on last October in, Revolutionary Prayer & Dirty Carpet. I have learned so much about connecting with God in remarkable, sometimes ordinary, ways.
In recent months, our ministry has become involved in two different endeavors that have unfolded prayer like blossoming flowers in a stunning bouquet. The first is The Front Door Church, an online church service that allows families of ALL ability levels to worship together right where they are -- at home, on vacation, in a hospital room. Our ministry was thrilled to partner together with our friends at Key Ministry in this pilot program, because we wholeheartedly agree with reaching people who have not found or cannot get to a church home locally. What the service involves is merely clicking on http://go.mediasocial.tv/cbcfrontdoor every Sunday night at 7 PM, CST, watching a sermon and praise music, and praying together. It has been revolutionary!
When people offer their prayer requests, we DON'T WAIT -- We pray right then and there. A transforming work of the Holy Spirit takes place when people see a prayer typed out for their concerns right there on the chat wall. God's presence and care are made known to them in a tangible way. It brings almost unspeakable, inexplicable comfort to those who are there.
We continue checking in on participants throughout the week. We offer a word of comfort and a private message with prayer at that time too. It's as reassuring to me as it is to those I am praying for or with.
The second endeavor is our team of private prayer warriors that we developed recently. For the entire life of the ministry, we have had a dedicated prayer team supplicating for our work and our families. It was usually done through e-mail updates. But in the past month, we transferred it to a private, confidential Facebook group that only serious, mature prayer warriors are invited into.
When we issue a prayer request, we share a photo of the one we are praying for, with permission. Words cannot express how this has utterly transformed the way our prayer team is praying for people! The visual aid gives there prayers more specificity, more life. Because of Facebook's ease of use, we are able to give updates on those requests much more quickly to the team. It fuels their prayers as they see their joined requests come to life in God's hands. We have already seen so many prayers answered, and love to rejoice together.
Friend, never, EVER underestimate the power of praying with and for people. Don't hesitate. Do it right away! If they ask you to pray, stop the person and ask, "Would it be okay if I pray with you right now?" Even if you don't feel proficient at it, the Lord doesn't care about perfect words, only the position of your heart. Write yourself a note to check back in with the person you prayed for. You can't believe how much that SMALL THING will encourage them!
As you obey in prayer and supplication, you will be amazed and transformed by watching the MIGHTY hand of God at work!
PRAY: Father, thank You that You are not a God who is far away, but One who is close to our hearts, and deeply involved in our concerns. Jesus, thank You that You made a way for us to come BOLDLY before the throne of grace in our time of need. Holy Spirit quicken our minds to remember to pray for people the minute they ask for it, and follow up on those requests as a means of showing your care to the hurting. We can't do a thing without You, Lord. Thank You for keeping us upright when life weighs us down.
~ Barb Dittrich
* Click here to read more of our posts on PRAYER.
**Click here to learn more about The Front Door Online Church