Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Specific or Unspoken, Pray

In Sunday School, at evening services, and at specified prayer meetings, we ask if there are prayer requests. Some of our PUSH items have to do with a leukemia fighter; a rebellious son; a job hunter; an Alzheimer’s family; a victim of assault; a family member for salvation; those facing surgery. The list fluctuates from time to time as prayers are answered.

One on our PUSH list is very specific in her fight against cancer. The leukemia fighter praying specifically for a return of appetite to help build up her strength. This weekend attested to answered prayer as she finished a plate of special sauce and pasta, finishing the meal with apple pie and scoops of ice cream. For this, we give praise and thanks to our Lord for answered prayer.

Another had an unspoken. A simple request that we join in prayer, combining ours with hers, perhaps never knowing the subject matter. This weekend as her prayers were answered, she shared that completion and we again give praise and thanks to our Lord for answered prayer.

We didn’t need to know what prayer is requested. We simply join in prayer knowing that we have specific help even in unspoken prayers.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. [Romans 8:26 KJV]

Can’t see it. Can’t measure it. Can’t prove to anyone it works. Yet we pray. Knowing that sometimes the answer could be “No.” Christ received such an answer when He prayed for the cup to pass. (Matthew 26:36-45) Still, we are instructed not to hesitate in what we ask.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [Philippians 4:6 KJV]

I like the example in Luke 18:2-8, the widow bothering a judge to the point he gave into her. Christ speaks of our Father’s response to His children:

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? [Luke 18:7 KJV]

Sometimes it is a simple request, as Paul wrote:

Brethren, pray for us. [1 Thessalonians 5:25 KJV]

Tomorrow I will begin the day with prayers for surgeons – I will requests that God be with them, guide their hands to complete the surgery without harm; that their eyes will remain clear and focused as the operation progresses; for healing afterward. While I do so, others will be sending similar prayers for the same patient. We will wrap her in love and ask for angels’ wings to protect her during and after her surgery.

Specific or unspoken, we share our needs in prayer. We do not take this lightly. Should you join in prayer with us, do not take it lightly, either. Prepare for prayer by bringing yourself close to God. Our prayers need to be fervent and effective.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [James 5:16 KJV]

Oh, you aren’t familiar with PUSH? Pray, until something happens.

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