“I’m praying for you”
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
How many times have you said that to someone, and then promptly forgot the promise you made? We do it all the time. Someone comes to us with a need and we say, “we’ll pray for you”…but we don’t. Do you ever feel guilty about forgetting your promise and not following through?
I find that when someone asks for prayer in a conversation or in a meeting, it is best to stop right there and pray. God doesn’t set up appointment times for prayer. He’s always near. Sometimes we want to hoard all our prayers for bedtime or for morning devotions. But God doesn’t say “when” we should pray, just that we should! And pray, “without ceasing.”
Those who seem to have the most robust and effective prayer life are aware that God is present—all the time. When someone comes to mind, a friend, a relative, or an acquaintance who has a problem, they use that moment as a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pray.
In talking to some of the men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center, I often ask, “When do you pray?” I get the usual replies, “In the morning,” “at my devotional time,” or “at night before going to bed.” But those who seem to have the closest relationship with God pray all through the day. It’s a form of “practicing the presence of God”…all the time.
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t set appointments to hear our prayers? Indeed, he “never sleeps nor slumbers.”
And aren’t you glad that God doesn’t set quotas or limits on the number of prayers we can offer?
In a recent comic strip, Dennis the Menace had quite a day of prayer. The first panel shows Dennis hiding behind a bush from Margaret, who is screaming, “DENNIS!” and Dennis is praying, with hands clasped and eyes up to heaven, “Please, don’t let her FIND me!” The next panel shows Dennis walking down the sidewalk holding a bat and glove, now praying, “Please let my Team WIN today!”
Next we see his grouchy neighbor standing in front of a broken window, with a baseball in his hand, and Dennis, hiding around the corner, sweating, “Please get me OUTTA this!” Then, at home, he’s praying again, as he views a tempting, full cookie jar, “Please keep mom BUSY for a few minutes!”
Mom calls, “TIME FOR DINNER” and Dennis prays, “Please! NO VEGGIES tonight.” Later, when Dennis, in front of the TV, hears “BEDTIME, DENNIS,” he prays “Please tell her to let me STAY UP for another hour!”
In the next-to-last panel, his mother asks, as he is climbing into bed, “AREN’T YOU GOING TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS?”
Last panel: Dennis is in bed replying to his mother, “Mom, I think I’m over my LIMIT today!”
James, chapter 5, gives several lessons on prayer and its power. If someone is sick we need to pray for him and believing prayer will deliver the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The petition of a righteous person has very powerful effects.
A comment often heard from those who have been listed in the weekly Call to Prayer Bulletin, is that they sensed and felt the presence of God. There is a growing roster of “Praise Reports” included on the web page: SAPRAYUSW.COM, of those who have witnessed the tremendous power of prayer.
Lloyd John Ogilvie writes, “Prayer is the mother tongue of the people of God.” Archbishop Trench exclaimed, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of his highest willingness.”
Listen to the Lord in prayer. Get his perspective on your concerns and problems, loved ones, and those people you need to learn to love. Spread it all out before him. Say with Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant listens.”