Chapel of the Holy Cross – Sedona, Arizona
I woke around 3:00 a.m. today. My first thought was about a small group of women I met with a couple years ago. The study we did exposed intimate and painful experiences. Mine, aches from yesterday memories, had left scars in my soul. For some of the younger women, their pain was from fresh wounds.
A few years ago, I embraced such middle-of-the night awakenings as sacred reminders to pray. For several minutes this very-early morning, I prayed for each group member by name. I prayed for hearts, marriages, children, health, and my friends’ everyday lives until I returned to slumber.
One reason I believe praying for people is so important is because of something I heard Dick Foth say: whenever we bring a person to the God of Creation in prayer, we are affirming that person’s great worth.
Prayer is one of those mysteries of faith. More than 600 prayers, covering a time span of some five millennia, are recorded in the Bible.
During the current Covid-19 crisis, I’ve heard and read many calls for people to pray.
One friend asked her sisters of faith to pray with her from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. each Tuesday. The alarm on my calendar is set.
My sister-in-law takes a prayer walk every morning from 6:15-6:45.
Churches all over our nation are putting aside doctrinal differences, joining hearts and voices in prayers and petitions for protection and healing within local communities, our nation and the world.
Another friend forwarded a unique suggestion I’ve been trying to practice. Every time you wash your hands, pray!
Do groggy, middle-of-the-night prayers, prayer walks, or 20-second hand-washing prayers matter?
Paul’s reminder to his friends (1 Thessalonians 5:17) to “pray without ceasing” makes me think they do.
Does it make a difference when a group of girlfriends gather asking for God’s goodness and grace?
When I consider these words spoken by Jesus, I would guess the answer is “YES:” For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 5:18)
Is it all right to set aside deeply held traditions and beliefs to join others who don’t adhere to our same tenets of faith, asking God to intervene on behalf of a community, nation, and the world?
The principle behind words, spoken by God to Solomon, convince me sincere, heartfelt petitions, made in humility to an almighty God have the power to change the condition of community, nation, and yes, even the world.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
During the next few days leading to Easter, would you please join me in praying.
In humility, let’s put aside ideological preferences and pray blessings upon leaders, healers, and helpers of all ilk.
Let us pray for
The one who is weak and the one who is powerful,
the beloved family member and the one who’s alone and isolated,
the wealthy one and the homeless one,
the one who’s confident and the one who’s terrified,
the old one and the young one,
the healthy one and the sick one.
Let us never forget that each ONE has great worth because that one is created and loved by God.
God of the One,
Thank you for loving everyone in this world.
Thank you, because of your great love, Jesus came, lived as humanity, died, and arose, conquering sin and death.
During this time of crisis felt throughout the earth, we pray for your grace and mercy.
Remind us to pray and care for each one you bring to our remembrance.
- Not a direct quote. Dick Foth co-authored A Trip Around the Sun with Mark Batterson ↑
- Great article from Christianity Today, https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/covid-19-coronavirus-20-prayers-to-pray-during-pandemic.html ↑