The Cost of Prayer
Each week I type up our church’s prayer requests and forward them on to our team of 50 intercessors. It’s a privilege to do this small task that hopefully lightens the burdens of those in need. Usually the requests are for healing for those who are sick, but some also relate to the need for a job or financial help.
This week I also privately received requests for those who are in a program that helps them overcome addictions. Close to graduation, they have learned what truly is important in life . . . and as I began to pray, I was overcome with their sincerity and desire for a healthy, Christ-centered life.
I will share those anonymously (and edited a bit) some of those . . . stopping at the one that broke my heart and made me cry out loud:
Never drink again.
Find a good paying job soon after graduation.
Stay connected with church and AA after graduation.
Live a Christ-centered life.
Be a successful husband/dad.
Be successful at any work.
Start a new relationship with my son.
Find a job that I love doing.
Find a good career & go back to school.
Be a part of my daughter’s life.
Start a real relationship with my mother.
To honestly be able to forgive those who killed my brother.
Help my children find Christ.
To become a counselor.
Work with people of character.
Get my own place to live.
Get my own car (all legal).
Pay my debts as they pertain to making amends.
To find a rewarding job that I love that will help people.
And here it is:
To be stable enough that I can get a cat.
I don’t know about you, but I just stopped there and bawled.
Intercession does that sometimes.
It takes your heart and squishes it until you’re bleeding out tears.
. . . or it hammers your heart, smashing all your fancy-sounding-pretty-good prayers and says, “No, this needs to shatter you completely.”
. . . or it grows until it’s pounding and aching in your chest . . . and the hurt doesn’t just fade away when you’re done with the words. And you keep thinking of that person and then finally pray, “Lord, please just give me some of the ache so that person doesn’t have to carry so much.”
Prayer lightens as the words or emotions or thoughts or images go to our heavenly Father and say please.
And it’s a privilege to partner someone on earth with the Lord of the universe.
I pray you keep Looking Up! on others’ behalf. It’s worth the heartbreak.
Would you like to know more about how Jesus prayed? This book-of-my-heart is available now for pre-orders here and at other online bookstores. It’s the only comprehensive study of the prayer life of Jesus.