I don’t pray enough…

January 16, 2008

Someone very dear to me was going through a rough time recently. I could tell, and they knew I could… Before I could say much they looked me in the eye and very tiredly said, “I can’t share with you, Donovan”. That ripped a whole in my innards a mile wide… It confirmed something was wrong, and it also told me that I would not be able to help in ways I’d want to if I could…

Pressing for information would not have been right – there are many situations in which it just isn’t right for someone to share (at least with anyone other than certain individuals), and it would be neither loving to that person or God-honoring to try gain information I shouldn’t have. But the burden I felt didn’t want to accept that… I wanted to do everything I could to help… I wanted to get under their burden with them in every way possible… Not knowing details means counsel and encouragement can’t be specific. It means you can’t help someone work through the stuation itself. It felt like my hands were tied… And I didn’t like it at all.

But that feeling of “there’s nothing I can do” isn’t right, and it takes situations like this to remind me of that sometimes. I can always pray… I can pray to the God of the Universe who knows every detail of the situation, has all the wisdom to know how best to deal with it, more love than I can comprehend to genuinely care about it, and all the power to accomplish it…

I think I’m more prone to neglect prayer when my hands don’t feel tied, when I feel like I can do something… But really, I’m never able to do anything on my own! It’s always God who does the work… and unless He builds the house, the laborer labors in vain.  

Here’s a little slogan I’ve tried to remember and live by: “whether or not you can minister in person, you can and must always minister in prayer.” By God’s grace, I will believe that truth and live it out more and more each day…



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