A snapshot never tells the whole story. It just records a moment in time:
- That Pinterest post you admire doesn’t reflect the hours and hours of orchestration.
- The financial picture that may not look good to likely doesn’t tell the story of how far someone has come.
- The family that struggles so much but paints on a smile at just the right moments.
- A miserable moment for someone who is more often a genuinely positive person.
- A glimpse of a bank statement that looks like success doesn’t show the big picture of many failed relationships.
- The meager bank account that doesn’t reflect the family love and unity.
- The smile that might hide a diagnosis but also reflects a renewed sense of joy for deeper things.
A picture can only say so much, so don’t let it fool you. And more importantly, don’t make rush judgments. Pray continuously. We never know what someone is going through at first glance..
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. [1Peter 1:22 NIV]
On the way,
Have you ever been asked by someone to pray for them? I find it a very humbling experience. I often wonder, “Who am I?” to receive such a request that represents such vulnerability and trust of me. It comes from a place of deep need and usually the situation is hard. Sometimes, no details are given. Just a “Please pray.”
Of course, we can all use prayer. But most of the time when someone directly asks you to pray for them they have something quite specific in mind. And sometimes they can’t even talk about it. When I don’t know what is going on – and sometimes even when I do – I pray all around the person and the situation, whatever it is. Some of the areas I pray about include:
- Physical health
- Emotional health
- Spiritual health
- Family relationships
- Financial concerns
I am always thankful for the opportunity to pray over a prayer request. The situation is often on my mind at various points in a day/week. And while a friend may ask for prayer on a specific thing, my mind always wanders and broadens the prayer. Sometimes knowing more about a situation is helpful as I pray but it isn’t necessary. Sometimes people like to explain their requests, which is fine. Others may be at a loss for words (or the needs are very private) so to make things easier for them I might say “just give me one word and I will cover it”. I can pray quite a bit off of one word because I just try to cover all the bases. When I am at a loss for words or direction, I just remind God that He knows the situation and knows the need and I ask Him to take care of it/them.
Here is an example of me covering the bases on just using a name:
Heavenly Father, Bless ______ today. Bless their finances, their work/school tasks and their work/school relationships. If there are medical concerns, bring them to light. If the challenge is financial, please make provision for them. Be with their family and family relationships during this time. Help this time of struggle be a time when their relationship with You is strengthened and they come to depend upon You for their every need. If they are headed down a difficult path, continue to give them warnings and give them eyes to see the warnings and a spirit that responds. You know their needs and You love them much deeper than I so I trust them and their circumstance into Your Hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
When someone asks for prayer, it immediately deepens my connection with them. I appreciate their willingness to be vulnerable with me but it is also precious that they know God wants to hear prayers from them and on their behalf. So often we look at prayer as a last resort — after we have tried everything else! This week, consider asking someone to pray on your behalf with a request large or small. It might feel awkward in the beginning but I do believe it has a tendency to strengthen your relationship with that person. Your willingness to request prayer might open the door for them to also share a request with you. And those are the types of relationships that help sustain us while we navigate life on Earth!
I believe we all have an important prayer perspective to offer. If you want to know more about my thoughts on prayer perspectives, click here!
On the Road,