01 Aug Pray For Me
My little sister reached out to me today and asked for spiritual guidance. After asking a few questions, we landed on the topic of prayer. She expressed how she felt ashamed for not knowing how to pray, not knowing where to start or what to say. I took this as an opportunity for us to bond over our fears because up until recently, I had a fear of praying out loud too. Praying wasn’t a ritual for me. It wasn’t something that I enjoyed or something that I felt comfortable doing. Like many, I prayed when I wanted something and every now and then, I’d get on my knees and recite the Lord’s Prayer. I might pray over my food or before I went to bed, but I never called on God more or talked to Him more than in times of need. “Lord please let this bank clerk remove this insufficient fund from my account”. I’d say thank you and move on without giving much acknowledgment for answering my prayers.
All of that changed after I joined a bible study group at my church. At the end of each meetings, our leader would ask for prayer requests and then assign someone else to pray for that person. One day I was assigned to pray for someone, and I had no clue what to say. When it was my turn to pray, I tried to say everything that I briefly rehearsed in my heard but my mind went blank, so I just said the first thing that came to my heart. I was sweating profusely thinking more about how others were thinking about how I was praying – almost forgetting the prayer request. Immediately following, I went home and beat myself up, condemning myself for even trying. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. I told myself that I couldn’t do it. I wanted to talk myself out of every assignment to pray for someone else. I blamed it on my anxiety attacks. I’m not a public speaker is what I said to myself. I disqualified myself.
Months went by and so many things had changed. I was a consist contributor to the bible studies and had even grown close to many of the members. We even started a prayer call. Then my bible study leader gave us a challenge to pray with someone everyday of the week and to report our experience back to him the following week. I prayed about who to pray with and eventually, I had my week filled with prayer appointments. Thursday arrived and the person I was supposed to pray with rescheduled for a later time in the day. I agreed, but five minutes before we were supposed to pray together, she canceled. Jesus, what am I supposed to do now? All of a sudden, my best friend calls me and tells me how she failed a test. As she’s explaining the situation to me all of a sudden, I hear, “pray for her”. It’s like a soft whisper. It’s annoying me because I’m trying to listen to the story, but all I keep hearing is, ” pray for her”. I’m literally leaning my head over trying to silence the voice, thinking I can shut it off. Then I realized that it was the Holy Spirit – like I’ve never felt this way before. Then all of a sudden, fear sank in. I’ve never prayed for her. What is she going to say if I ask to pray for her? I was soooooo scared that I hung up the phone without praying for her.
I woke up the next day and felt so convicted; I needed to pray for her. I literally opened my eyes and texted her like ummm I need to pray for you. The funny thing is she didn’t reject me – I don’t even know why I second-guessed it. She was more upset that I didn’t pray for her, so that night, before bed, I prayed for her. The blessing in this is that she began to reach out to me to pray for her on different occasions, but she never gave me a prayer request. I was used to prayer request; that I can do. I can handle praying for specifics, but here it was I was being asked to intercede. I spent most of my time in intercessory prayer with her not knowing that God was using this to build me up for where He was taking me.
Soon after I had a vision that God would use me to bless people through prayer. I saw myself praying for people at my church. I spoke to an accountability partner and I shared this vision and asked what she thought. Instead of giving her opinion, she asked me what I thought. How are you going to ask me a question with a question I thought, but I knew that was God. He didn’t need anyone else to validate His plans for my life. I needed to trust Him, and I needed to be obedient.
I share this to say the very thing that you fear, the thing that you are running from, the thing that you have disqualified yourself from may be the very area that God will use to elevate you. No one could’ve told me a year ago that I would be on a prayer team and hosting prayer calls. I still can’t believe it, but it has been the greatest blessing. Everything you think disqualifies you from serving God is exactly what qualifies you. Prayer is something that comes from the heart. You don’t need a vast vocabulary and or know every scripture in the bible. You don’t have to pray grammatically correct using proper syntax, and it has absolutely nothing to do with public speaking. It has everything with your willingness to let God use you.
| Prayer |
God, I thank you so much for opening up my eyes so that I could see my abilities. While I was out here trying to gain approval and acceptance from people around me, I was not talking to you. I wasn’t seeking your guidance and your counseling and found myself in the darkest places. When I allowed the things I feared to consume me, You used them to build me. When I thought I wasn’t good enough, You shined Your light on me. Thank you for Your conviction and for thinking that I’m special enough to be used in this capacity. I ask for continued wisdom and compassion towards others as You allow me to cover them. In Jesus name. Amen.