How can I pray for you?

It began several days ago with a question:  “How can I pray for you?”

I realized that my prayer life had been virtually non-existent for much longer than I would care to admit.  I got lost deeper and deeper down a path of self-pity and complaining. and being tossed in the waves.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

James 1:6

Feeling lonely and self-conscious, I began to complain that I was alone, that no one had asked me how they could pray for me.  Bitterness crept in.  Resentment followed close behind and brought apathy to the pity party.

Have you ever hosted a pity party?

It’s a sad, lonely place to be.  Everything you look at is in ruins.  No one cares for you and any rays of hope are hidden behind a cloud of hopelessness.

Of course, it’s all a lie.

People do care.  The ruins you “saw” are nothing more than shadows cast against the furniture.  Remember when you were a kid and it was bedtime?  Your room was a different place with the lights off.  That baseball bat and towel in the corner of the room became a ghost.  Your chair was now a monster hunched over waiting for you to close your eyes.

I realized that I needed to live life using the gifts and strengths God had given me.  I turned on the light switch and saw joy, connection, authenticity, spirit, and leader.  I had put those gifts under a rug.

I needed to start praying again.  Not the “Woe is me, my life is terrible” prayer, but the kind of prayer that was lifting up others.

I made a choice to ask a bunch of friends, family, and strangers:  “How can I pray for you?”

The response was amazing!  Over the past 5 days I have prayed for 30 people.  Situations ranging from health issues, changes in job – the list went on.  I began to picture each person (either from a real picture or my imagination) and lifted that person up.  I sent messages to the “requestor” with what I saw, and asked them how it was going.  They wrote back!  Thanking me for the prayer and also sharing stories of hope.

My challenge to you is this:  Who around you can you ask that simple, but powerful question:  “How can I pray for you today?”  Once they give you an answer, commit to praying for them for a period of time.  It doesn’t need to be 48 days.  It could be a day, a week, or until the situation changes.  There are no rules here, only fellowship to be built.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

1 John 1:5-7

Take a risk, accept this challenge, and share it with someone else.  Do you have a fun story or success that came from this challenge?  Share it in the comments below!

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