Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Best Wishes, Thoughts and Prayers

So when something bad or scary is happening or has happened most people respond either with something ridiculous because they are insensitive or don't know what to say OR they respond by giving you best wishes, thoughts and prayers.

Do you ever wonder what best wishes, thoughts and prayers involve?

What are best wishes? A good luck statement to let you know they hope it turns out OK for you but in the meantime you're on your own, so hopefully you have some really awesome people that love you somewhere.

What are thoughts? Random things that fly through your head, most unworthy of speaking or writing down (unless you are one of those awesomely creative individuals!). Occasionally our thoughts will lead to something awesome, but rarely as it is the action upon those thoughts that lead to the awesomeness.

Then of course you have prayers. We all know prayers are our conversation with God and the rest of the Trinity. I believe prayer can change everything, it has for me, several times in my life. A sincere commitment to prayer can radically change lives all around you and it's awesome when you meet a prayer warrior that does radically change lives. However, the rest of us struggle to pray. We can't always remember to talk to God every meal, much less everyday. And when we do remember to pray, it's often loaded with selfishness or some formality we take lightly. Sure we hit our knees when we encounter a crisis and occasionally when we celebrate an awesome event, but really prayer is one of our weakest links. So we tend to treat it as a failure and say, "goodbye," even without realizing it.

Well, when you hear someone say they will pray for you, does it impact you? Does it give you hope? Do you feel the instant comfort that comes when you've been prayed for, the awesome sensation of the Holy Spirit resting on your soul? Or instead do you feel like it's an empty promise, offered to you because the respondent has nothing else to give?

In this cynical world I'm going to hope for the positive. I'm going to say, even if it doesn't offer you the same great feeling as when someone takes the time right then and there to pray for you, it offers something bigger. I believe the offering of prayer allows someone to express their deepest desire to emotionally help you out and in that moment the Creator is hearing the prayer. Even if they never remember to pray for you again, the Lord has heard the plea on your behalf.

As a Christian, I find it challenging to keep up with my offerings of prayer and occasionally will even say a blanket statement like, "Lord, you know who I encountered this week that needs prayer, please be with them." I desire so much for everyone, but everyone wears me so thin and I don't have a prayer log or journal to keep it all straight. So I hope to not just take more time to pray, but to take more time to pray in the moment. So instead of offering to pray for someone, I actually do. It'll only take a minute. And who knows, maybe it'll speak miracles into the heart of those well wishers and thinkers, giving them confidence and courage to seek Christ.

So here's to being a prayerful individual, offering hope, peace, love, acceptance and encouragement when others need it most. We can't give them those things, but God can.

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